Thursday, March 7, 2013

Smart shirt helps wearers keep track of their mental and physical wellbeing

The quantified self movement has already spawned apps such as Xpression and Soma Analytics to help users track their own moods and emotions. Looking to the future, OMsignal has developed a shirt embedded with sensors able to detect and track the wearer’s emotional state, and even share the data socially. While the plethora of fitness tracking products such as FitBit and Nike+ are designed to be worn only during physical activity, the aim of OMsignal apparel is to provide always-on monitoring of their wellbeing. Its shirt – which is currently only available to developers for testing – features sensors that make direct contact with the skin to monitor heart rate and breathing, as well as recognize the activity being performed. This data is then sent to the user’s smartphone in real time, where it can be analyzed and tracked over a set period, offering users a more detailed look into their emotional state at any time, as well as monitoring of health conditions. OMsignal hopes that, with further development, the shirt will help users track a wide range of metrics, from eating habits to the health of babies in pregnant women. Through the companion app, this information could then be shared socially for fun or – more seriously – to keep a check on friends and family members’ health.

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