Ralph Lauren to Market Smart Shirt
When you hear the phrase “wearable devices” most of us think of smartwatches and fitness bands but the sky’s the limit when fashion designers start to create tech products. While wearables from high fashion brands have been pretty much restricted to predictable products like smart bracelets, Ralph Lauren is about to launch a new item that takes the marriage of style and technology one step farther.
This move into wearables is the PoloTech shirt, a smart shirt for men that is embedded with sensors that can read the wearer’s vital signs. Information on stress levels, calories burned, breathing and heart rates will be streamed to the user’s smartphone and used to create customized workout programs.
While sports brands like Adidas have previously marketed smart shirts, this is the first such item from a major luxury fashion house. The shirt was worn by Marco Giron at last year’s US Open tennis tournament but has not been on sale to the buying public.
The PoloTech is the result of collaboration between Ralph Lauren and Montreal-based wearable technology maker OMsignal. We can look for more smart garments in the future as fashion houses try to sell their products to the tech-loving public and tech companies strive to make their items less geeky and more stylish.
The Ralph Lauren PoloTech shirt will go on sale August 27 at select locations including the New York City Polo flagship store and the brand’s website. The shirt will also be available from August 31 to September 13 at the Ralph Lauren store at the US Open. The price? $295.
The smartshirt is compatible with Apple’s iOS and will work with an iPhone, iPod Touch or Apple Watch. The app is free on iTunes.