Smartwear – aka wearable tech, fashion tech, tech tog – is more than an umbrella term for looking smart. It’s feeling smart. Being smart.
Worn close to and/or on the surface of our skin, they can measure, distil and transmit biometric data. Typically facilitated by in-built bluetooth chips or instant biofeedback, such clothing items are taking over the sportswear industry.
Enough talk, it’s showtime.
6 | UA RECOVER | far-infrared for muscle relief
Quite a fitting marvel to start this list: the RECOVER garments convert the body’s natural heat to far-infrared for absorption.
Inspired by NASA’s astronaut gear, this invisible light is reflected by the bio-ceramic print lining the smartwear’s insides. As a result, wearers can expect soothing warmth for muscle relief and enhanced relaxation.
Enhance your sleep too with Under Armour’s sleepwear – proven to reduce inflammation and help with blood flow for increased metabolism.
Retail prices start at around £40.
5 | Teslasuit | Tactile boxing feedback
Reminiscent of the Force Jacket appearing in Ready Player One, this smartwear paves the road for VR-enabled healthcare and entertainment. Through neuromuscular stimulation, tactile sensations from simulations and video feeds like games can be safely felt in real-time.
Its revolutionary applications to sports hone in on martial arts. For example, boxers can react to responses and motions of other trainers from different cities. Above all, players can punch and be punched without the bruise!
Currently only available to business interests, this haptic smartwear will touch the consumer market in 2024.
4 | Catapult Sports Vest | Quantifying training programmes
Touted as the “most-used secret in sport”. Catapult offers real-time tracking hardware to sports teams. Their vests combine a range of ECG sensors and inertial equipment to track players’ heart rates and monitor movement intensity.
Trusted by 80% of footy clubs in the English Premier League alone, their client base comprises 2500 teams worldwide. From basketball to cricket to rugby, coaches can easily see bitesize performance reports on mobile. Moreover, this data can be crucial in avoiding preventable injuries.
I concede it isn’t exactly suited towards our blog’s overwhelmingly student audience. Nevertheless, the interested reader may contact their Sales rep for bespoke pricing.
3 | FORM Smart Swim Goggle | AR-enabled swimming
You can’t hear your coach screeching underwater. With FORM goggles, you don’t need to.
Once reserved for fighter jets, this smart display tech provides an immersive swimming experience with real-time metrics. Stroke rate, distance covered, calories burned. All in front of your eyes.
Too busy to swim with a partner? No worries – get exclusive access to app-guided workouts and in-depth post-swim reviews on top via monthly or annual membership plans.
Monthly: £18/mo + £99 goggle
Annual: £13/mo + £59 goggle (discount)
2 | Spinali Design Neviano Swimsuit | Sunscreen Adviser
It’s hard to maintain that perfect beach tan without just the right amount of sun and shade time. Thus, the French luxury swimsuit brand launched this fancy-pants collection for the most devoted tanners.
Removable and waterproof UV sensors are seamlessly embedded, and can last up to 80 days per charge. Bluetooth allows wearers to be alerted as to when sunscreen must be applied via their companion mobile app.
Stylish swimsuits for stylish women starting at around £100. But none for men I’m afraid.
1 | Wearable X’s Nadi X yoga pants | Built-in yoga instructor
Wearable X products have always centred around intimacy. After all, at its inception lies Fundawear: the vibrating underwear for long-distance couples.
Integrated electronic patches at the ankles, knees and hips softly vibrate and nudge the yogi into correct positions. This data is also verbally communicated via its sleek companion app.
Try this smartwear free of charge for 30 days, and see for yourself if the feel justifies the £140 tag.
This list is far from comprehensive. Just a few pre-reviews of items I’ve been eyeing – Under Armour pyjamas to solve my insomnia, for instance.
On the other hand, every item above costs an arm and a leg for their enhanced connectivity. Can’t do much exercise without my limbs! Which is why I suppose only the super-disciplined athletes would actually cash out on these certainly marvellous accessories.
That being said, as long as you’re set on taking your fitness to the next level, buy away. I’m not stopping you.