“Gadget” ideal for athletes: Shirt that monitors vital signs

The fitness shirt has been developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Germany and measures vital constants, such as respiration, pulse or changes in heart rate to regulate the power of exercise performed.

fitness shirt

The first sports kit which uses the shirt consists of a stationary bike, a mobile phone and FitnessSHIRT, and has been exhibited at the German fair Medica 2013. The invention connects the shirt with a ‘smartphone’ and ‘tablet’ and sends the physiological data to be interpreted and send the order to the bicycle, which regulates the power output as a function of stress, performance or difficulty adapting to the exercise by the user.

To achieve this, the fabric is made with which incorporates integrated conductive electrodes that are responsible for capturing the cardiovascular activity of the user. Along with this, an elastic band around the chest is one that matches the movement of the breath is placed. A removable electronic unit that digitizes these is the raw data and transmits the “tablet” or “smartphone”.

According to the project managers, the FitnessSHIRT can be used in various sporting activities, but can also serve to monitor the rehabilitation of sick or elderly and avoid making a strain. The aim is that the shirt can be marketed throughout 2014.

MENTORbike is the partner of the Fraunhofer Institute in this first prototype in which has been fitted a smart phone to the handlebars of a bike to pick up the parameters and, if the pulse rate exceeds 150 beats per minute, reduce pedaling; while if this is 80 beats per minute, accelerates. In this way, users will be the exercise within optimum level, or above not below its potential.