10 Best Smart Clothes of 2019
Smart devices like the Fitbit gave us the first taste of what it’s like to use wearables in our daily lives. The next step is to take this technology a step further and incorporate it into clothes that are both functional and comfortable to wear. You might think that futuristic tech like this is a long way off, but smart clothes are already here, and they’re making a world of difference!
Smart clothes is a broad term for clothing which has some kind of advanced monitoring feature and connects to a smartphone app. The first pieces of smart clothes were designed for fitness enthusiasts, but rapid advancements soon made it clear that everyone could benefit from one smart garment or another.
What can smart clothes do? They provide biometric data useful for monitoring your health and tracking fitness progress. Some items make it easier to navigate city streets while others help you avoid a sunburn. Mind you, these are just the cutting edge examples of today – we’ll likely be asking ourselves what smart clothes can’t do in the very near future.
We’ve put together a list of 10 of the most interesting pieces of smart clothing that are available right now. Given their diversity, it’s easy to pick something out for yourself or a loved one. Their smart features make these clothes more expensive than normal ones, but a bit more cash per item is a small price to pay for personal growth, one’s health, or peace of mind.
Picking out the right jacket to wear in unpredictable weather is a chore. What if you could have a heated jacket that adjusts its warmth based on the temperature of your body and its surroundings? That’s the idea behind Ministry of Supply’s Mercury! This stylish jacket packs smart features like thermostats and motion sensors to adjust its heating elements on the go. You can even turn it on with an Alexa command before heading out into the cold.
However, the Mercury’s most attractive feature is its learning ability. The jacket measures how much of an impact movement and the ambient temperature have on your internal temperature over time and starts to compensate before you feel chilly! There’s also an app you can use to set heating preferences manually, check the battery life, and see instructions on how to get the most out of the jacket.
Mercury is a comfortable and warm jacket even when you’re not using its smart features. It sports a simple look that goes well with either casual clothing or business attire. The jacket is wind & waterproof and has a removable hood. Its heating elements are strategically placed on the back and under the front pockets, so both your core and hands can get warm in seconds.
2. Athos Core
One of the things even seasoned athletes struggle with when exercising is gauging how hard their muscles are being strained. The Athos Core line of gym clothes takes the mystery away and gives you concrete metrics useful in improving your workouts. By having a sense of how each muscle group performs, you can work on fixing imbalances and design workouts to push yourself more.
The full Athos Core ensemble consists of shorts, a shirt, and an electronic gadget known as the Core. The clothes are riddled with sensors that measure electromagnetic activity, respiration, and heart rate. The Core can be attached to either item of clothing. It has a built-in gyroscope and accelerometer for precise movement tracking. The shorts and shirt are skin-tight to ensure that the sensors are always in contact with your muscles. You’ll need to wear them without any undergarments, but other than being heavier than what you’re used to, neither the shirt nor the shorts have an impact on your range of movement.
Tracking works in tandem with the Athos app. First, you need to choose from a library of workouts that target different muscle groups. After you set goals and begin exercising, engaged muscle groups light up in real time with each repetition. You’re given instant feedback on how much each action exerts the muscles via a colored graph. Blue means you’re barely straining the muscles while orange and red mean you’re pushing them to their limits.
Completing an exercise gives you a breakdown of your performance, including the average stress your muscles were under and whether or not you held your form correctly. You can also view how your heart rate changed during a workout or get info on average and peak heart rate values.
It’s dangerous to fiddle with your phone or smartwatch when you’re biking down crowded lanes. That’s why Levi’s and Google have partnered up to infuse one of the jeans manufacturer’s most iconic jackets with the latest in gesture recognition technology. The Jacquard lets you access frequently-used commands on your smartphone just by double-tapping or sliding your finger over a tag connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
Both the idea and its execution are simple. You choose one of three gestures – brush in, brush out, and double-tap – and assign a function to it in the Jacquard app. There are four general fields your gestures can affect – Audio, Navigation, Notifications, and Keep Track.
Audio lets you pause a song or skip to the next one as well as get info on its name and artist. Navigation tells you when you’ll arrive at your destination and provides turn-by-turn instructions so you don’t need to consult your phone’s GPS. With Keep Track you can tag an interesting place you’ve visited, count something without needing to remember the result, or get the current time to stay on schedule.
Notifications are particularly useful since they allow you to answer and end a call with gestures, which makes for a fantastic hands-free communication experience when combined with a headset. You can also designate three contacts as high priority. Doing so will cause the tag to light up and vibrate while ignoring calls from less important numbers.
The Jacquard is based on Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket. The only significant alterations are the gesture tag and its associated electronics. The jacket itself looks great, offers maximum flexibility, and does a great job of protecting you from the wind. It is available in men’s and women’s sizes alike, but currently there is only one color option.
Learning different poses and performing them perfectly is the key to mastering Yoga. Whether you’re just dipping your toes in the practice or are already an advanced yogi, the Nadi X smart yoga pants can help you improve by gently guiding your movements. The pants are tight-fitting yet stretchy, and the manufacturer did a fantastic job of ensuring that they conform to your body without hampering movement.
The pants are powered by a small gadget named Pulse that goes behind your knee. You need to install the Nada x app and pair them first. The app offers a series of poses to practice. These range in difficulty from beginner through intermediate to advanced and are accompanied by in-depth tutorials. You can watch videos, look at step-by-step instructions, or have the app direct you with audio instructions as you go through the poses.
Sensors woven into the pants accurately track the position of your lower body muscles. Imperfect form causes sensors around the offending muscles to vibrate while abandoning the form altogether results in a softer vibration felt throughout the pants. You can choose the overall intensity of the vibrations in the app. Stronger ones are better suited for beginners to let them focus on learning the ropes while advanced practitioners benefit more from smaller nudges.
Overall, Nadi X is a fantastic training tool with a hands-on approach to improvement. Using the pants and visibly getting better as the number of vibrations decreases is a strong motivator to keep going and expand your yogic repertoire.
Do you dread having to buy new pants, especially if you’re ordering online and can’t try them on first? The people behind LikeAGlove’s smart leggings obviously had the same trouble and have come up with an innovative solution that actually works.
These aren’t leggings you wear per se; they’re used to figure out your ideal pants size. The leggings are small out of the box but quickly stretch out to adapt to your curves. They are inlaid with numerous sensors that take precise measurements of your hips, calves, and buttocks. The data is then transferred to LikeAGlove’s companion app. This, along with the height you put in beforehand, results in exact specifications for the pants size and inseam height.
The app would be helpful with that feature alone, but LikeAGlove goes a step further. You’ll find an extensive catalog of manufacturers and models you can peruse. An integrated recommendation & shopping function narrows the selection down to pants that will actually fit you well and makes purchasing them easier.
Any fitness coach will stress that allowing your body to heal and prepare for new challenges is as important as sticking to your workout routine. Under Armour’s pajamas help speed up your body’s recovery, leaving you fresh to tackle new challenges earlier.
They work on the principle of energy conservation – your body constantly lets out energy which leaks into the surroundings. The less energy you have, the harder it is to recover from a tough workout, so the PJs are insulated with a material that reflects the body’s energy back at it without making you feel hot.
People used to sleeping in short clothes might need a day or two to adjust, but after that they’ll find the pajamas to be comfortable, breathable, and flexible. Under Armour recommends sleeping in them for two weeks straight to start feeling the effect. Satisfied customers report experiencing noticeably less soreness on the mornings after workouts as well as sleeping better overall.
Monitoring your heart rate is key to performing a range of exercises and evaluating your progress. The most accurate way of doing so is with a heart rate monitor worn around the chest. These rarely stay in place and start chafing after a while though. They’re also a distraction since you can’t focus on a workout if you’re concerned your heart rate monitor will fall off. The Mi Pulse Smart Sports Bra does away with such worries as the monitor is part of its design.
The bra itself is comfortable, comes in a variety of styles, and has moldable cups for extra support. There’s a dedicated spot for the heart rate monitor which is kept firmly in place no matter how intense your workout is. The monitor is resistant to moisture and can withstand the sweat from a workout. It’s not waterproof though, so you won’t be able to use the bra when swimming.
The heart rate monitor needs to sync to your fitness tracker of choice by Bluetooth, ANT+, and 5.3 kHz waves. This means that you can connect it with everything from an elliptical machine through your smartwatch to your favorite mobile fitness app. The monitor does a great job of accurately tracking your heart rate, but you’ll need to start an exercise on your tracker manually if you want to record its readings.
Prolonged exposure to sunlight is the leading cause of melanoma, but who can keep track of applying sunscreen when they’re having fun on the beach? French tech & fashion startup Spinali Design has an elegant answer to your sunburn woes in the form of attractive swimwear and an innovative sensor.
The bikinis & swimsuits are designed to accommodate a UV sensor. There’s nothing else special about them apart from the fact that swimwear for both sexes is elegant & tasteful, and that you can choose between six levels of modesty when picking out your bikini.
On the other hand, the UV sensor and its companion app keep you safe from the sun’s harmful rays. The app lets you specify your skin tone and will alert you when it’s time to seek out shade based on it and the UV levels picked up by the sensor. You also get alerts when it’s time to reapply sunscreen. You’re able to redirect these notifications to your partner’s phone as well. That way you get to enjoy an intimate moment while making sure you’re adequately protected.
Running is an exhilarating sport and an effective way to get in shape, but learning how to run correctly is both a science and an art form. There are so many tiny mistakes that contribute to less than peak performance that Sensoria has made a pair of smart socks to help you deal with them.
At first glance, these are regular-looking, comfortable running socks. Closer inspection reveals a bracket on one of them where you dock the smart sensor. This versatile gadget picks up on a multitude of running stats like distance traveled, calories burned, and so on. More importantly though, it is sensitive enough to alert you to incorrect foot placement or a less than optimal running cadence.
The data is sent to and interpreted in the Sensoria Run app through Bluetooth. The app is very well made and features Mara, a virtual assistant who guides you with voice commentary. She’ll tell you when you land incorrectly, spur you on, and remind you to pace yourself if you try to tackle too much too soon. There’s also the option of viewing detailed stats on your performance on a daily, weekly, or monthly levels.
Virtual shoebox is another cool feature that lets you track your performance based on the brand and make of shoe you’re wearing. If you have multiple pairs, you can compare their stats to determine which ones are better. You even get notifications when to replace your existing pair based on the distance traveled.
Parents who want to make sure their bundle of joy is healthy and sleeping soundly need only buy the Owlet Smart Sock 2. The sock has a pouch for a sensor which tracks the child’s heart rate, sleep patterns, and blood oxygenation. Combined, these readings give an accurate estimate of the child’s physical state. More importantly, the sock can warn you if any of the parameters become abnormal.
Owlet’s package contains a base station that connects to your Wi-Fi, the smart sensor, and three socks in one of three colors. The socks come in different sizes and will last from birth until the baby is 18 months old. Using the socks involves downloading their app, pairing it with the base station, and placing the sensor inside a sock’s dedicated pouch. You can adjust the sock’s tightness with Velcro tape, and the sensor doesn’t cause any discomfort to your baby.
The app asks you a set of questions regarding your child’s age, weight, etc. so it can calculate optimum parameters. You’re then given the choice to narrow or expand each parameter’s notification threshold. While at home, you can go about your business and ensure the baby is OK by glancing at the base unit. Since it connects via Wi-Fi, the unit will also send data on sleep habits and oxygen levels to your phone wherever you are. There’s a second app called Connected Care you can download to keep track of historical data and receive health insights, but that requires a monthly subscription.