Polo Ralph Lauren unveils the smart shirt

The Polo Tech smart shirt gets tested at the US Open

By Andrea Tim | Published: 26 Aug 2014

Video: Ralph Lauren

Blending wearable tech and fashion; we've heard that before, right? Watches, eyewear, necklaces, bracelets and rings have been turned into smartphone- and fashion-friendly devices that help make our social lives a little smoother.

What we don't have yet is a smart dress that tells us if we haven't been walking enough during the day, or if we should slow down on snacks. Thanks to Polo Ralph Lauren, that may soon happen; the luxury label has just tested its first smart shirt prototypes on the US Open ball boys.

While the Polo Tech smart shirt – the result of Ralph Lauren's partnership with biometrics firm, OMSignal – cannot (yet) tell us if we're spoiling our healthy diets, it can track our activity, heart rate and breathing rate.

"The shirt is the sensor," OMSignal CEO, Stephane Marceau said. "We capture what we call the 'ABC' of health and wellness. A is for activity, movement…B is for breathing, C is for Cardiac."

The shirt looks like your familiar body-hugging workout jersey, except it has a removable sensor unit housed in a band around the chest that contains the Bluetooth transmitter, accelerometer and gyroscope.

We foresee that, sometime in the (hopefully) not so distant future, we'll have near-invisible sensors in ready-to-wear and high street garments.

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