There are now many smartwatches with electro-optic hear rate monitors, but based on my short experience so far, if you want something accurate and reliable, you’d still better use a chest trap. Another potentially more comfortable option would be to use Hexoskin Smart T-shirt, and on top of the usual fitness data (step count, calorie burn, distance and heart rate), also measure your breathing rate and volume. The T-shirt also supports Bluetooth Smart to send back all the data to your smartphone or other devices such as bike computers or smart watches.
The company already has Bluetooth Classic T-Shirt, but there latest versions will offer longer battery life and Bluetooth 4.2 LE connectivity. Hexoskin T-shirt 2016 specifications:
- Bluetooth Smart 4.1 connectivity via Cypress EZ-BLE PRoC module
- Heart rate, RR intervals, fatigue and stress indicator (Heart Rate Variability).
- Breathing rate and breathing volume.
- Activity intensity, peak acceleration, steps and cadence.
- Analog 256Hz ECG data
- Analog dual-channel 128Hz breathing sensors
- Analog 3D 64Hz acceleration.
- battery – 30+ hours of battery life, 600+ hours of standalone recording.
- Material – Made of high-quality Italian textiles that’s lightweight, dries quick dry, anti-odor, and provides UV protection.
Hexoskin’s sensors gather 42,000 data points per minute to provide an accurate and detailed activity reports, either via the company’s Hexoskin app which displays full cardiac, breathing, and movement data, or third-party apps such as Strava, Runkeeper, Runtastic, Endomondo, and MapMyRun that mostly use the T-shirt as an heart rate monitor.
The data can be seen on real-time on your iOS or Android mobile device, but it is also sent to the company’s server, where it is stored securely. The T-shirt is also compatible with devices such as Tomtom Runner, Suunto Ambit3, Wahoo bike computers, a few Polar devices, and more.
The new Hexoskin Smart T-shirt has now launched on Indiegogo, and has already raised well over its $50,000 funding target. If you already own a previous version of the T-shirt, you can pledge $179 for the new BLE smart device only, while a complete kit with the T-shirt require pledges starting at $299 and greater. You can find more about their previous T-shirt on Hexoskin website.
If you are interested in smart clothing, I’ve also noticed ARM uploaded videos about Li-Ning smart shoes for fitness tracking, and Heddoko Smart Clothing used for body tracking in order to control user interfaces for example.