Ralph Lauren's classic frat-guy uniform is getting a high-tech makeover for the U.S. Open and beyond
Forget Google Glass. The latest wearable computing innovation is the smart Polo shirt. Yes, you read that correctly — Ralph Lauren's classic frat-guy uniform is getting a high-tech makeover.
The new Polo Tech shirt, unveiled Monday morning to coincide with the first day of the U.S. Open, goes beyond the old preppy design you know and love. It's essentially a compression shirt that has knitted-in sensors that can read biological and physical data, such as heartbeat, respiration, stress level, and energy output, and send this information to your smartphone. Aimed at athletes, the Polo Tech shirt is designed to help "improve general wellness and increase personal fitness," the luxury lifestyle brand said in a statement.
Tennis fans will be able to check out the shirt when they tune into the U.S. Open. Several of the ball boys who retrieve missed shots will be wearing the shirt, andMarcos Giron, the No. 1 singles player in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association who is playing in his first Grand Slam in Flushing, will rock the computerized shirt during his practices.
"Our goal is to create and reflect the ultimate lifestyle, and we believe that a healthy and active life is an essential part of that," David Lauren, Ralph Lauren's senior vice president of advertising, marketing, and corporate communications, said in a statement. "Ralph Lauren is excited to help lead the industry in wearable technology in this ever-evolving, modern world."
The new Polo Tech shirt is black with the signature Polo Player logo in yellow. Ralph Lauren developed the shirt with technology from Canadian-based OMsignal, which makes wearable fitness trackers. It should be available for purchase in the first half of 2015.
"Our vision is that this will transcend sports to help us at every age and in every aspect of life," Lauren said. "Reaching far beyond just the needs of elite athletes, Polo Tech will offer innovative technology for all ages and lifestyles to promote general wellness and quality of life."
At May's Code Conference, Intel chief Brian Krzanich showed up wearing a shirtthat included sensors and an Intel Edison chip, which measured his heart rate and took an EKG, the results of which showed up on his smartphone. Krzanich partnered with AIQ for the shirt, which features a special silicon called Gossmer. AIQ is expected at next week's IFA trade show in Berlin.
Angela has been a PCMag reporter since January 2012. Prior to joining the team, she worked as a reporter for SC Magazine, covering everything related to hackers and computer security