We’re pretty big fans of wearable tech—we’re willing to sport everything from ringing bracelets to smartwatches to Google Glass, but we really didn’t see this one coming, and from Ralph Lauren no less. While the fashion brand has deep rooted ties with the sport of polo, the brand has a new connection with tennis, choosing to unveil the new Polo Tech this morning at the first day of the U.S. Open. This fancy new compression shirt can take readings of both biological and physiological data with sensors woven into the fabric. So what this basically means is all those FitBits, Nike Fuel Bands and all manner of fitness gadgets are obsolete, because this shirt is seriously legit.
Partnering with Canadian technology company OMsignal, Lauren created a shirt that can track heartbeat, respiration, energy output, stress level, breathing rate, breathing depth, steps, calories burned and includes an accelerometer and gyroscope—oh, and it can give you an EKG if you’re feeling so inclined. Everything is transmitted to a tiny “black box” on the wearer’s ribcage which then transmits all the information to your new Ralph Lauren fitness app (aka the last health app you’ll ever need). “Our goal is to unveil technology that will be in every part of your life,” David Lauren, executive vice president of advertising, marketing and corporate communications at Ralph Lauren Corp said in a statement. “We could put it in an Oxford shirt or in a tie from Purple Label. Ralph Lauren has always been about inspiring lifestyles.”
While Polo Tech is currently only available to pro-athletes—including several ball boys at the U. S. Open and player Marcos Giron—the brand is hoping to be able to roll the shirts out to the public by spring and potentially include the tech in their other polos, oxfords, even their sweaters. But aside from giving you a full body overview while your training for your half-marathon, the implications of what this technology is capable of is tremendous. Vitals can be transmitted instantly and wirelessly to medical professionals worldwide allowing the sick, elderly, even those at risk, to give immediate access of their biological and physiological data to their doctors. “We live in the world today where as health information is becoming more valuable and accurate, you don’t have to wait three months for your doctor to analyze you,” Lauren added. “Some people will use this for serious issues and some will use it to just train and get healthier. We’re all going to know how valuable this will be. We opened the door. This is something that even for us is going to be a learning experience.”