If organizing the proper workout has always puzzled you, a trend is developing in the wearable marketplace to help pump you up (cue Arnold Schwarzenegger voice). A new wave of high-tech gym clothing uses a series of electromyographic (EMG) sensors embedded within fabric to analyze nearly every aspect of your body while training.
The Athos system operates with a synergy of three items: the clothing, the Core, and the accompanying mobile app. The clothing features biosignal monitoring seamlessly built into performance apparel which communicates its findings back to the Bluetooth-enabled Core device.
The brains of the system, the Core, houses the ability to analyze your body through EMG sensors. The smart apparel uses this technology to track muscle effort, muscle target zones, and muscle fatigue. It even goes further to monitor heart rate and breathing patterns. This information is then fed to the mobile app where your workout can be further dissected. A user can set various targets for themselves or even correct bad form and learn to prevent injury. The app also tracks workouts and can log gains and improvements.
According to The Verge‘s Ben Popper, EMG operates upon the knowledge that, “When you move, the contraction of muscle fibers emits an electric signal which can be recorded and measured.” While most EMG units used by doctors can run up to $5,000, an Athos shirt can be had for just $99, though the Core unit costs an additional $199.
Six-time NBA All Star Jermaine O’Neal has even invested in the Redwood City, California-based smart fitness apparel startup. “When I saw Athos for the first time, my immediate thought was how much more longevity it can give athletes by allowing us to train smarter and prevent injury through a better understanding and fine tuning of our bodies,” the Golden State Warrior center explained.
Also on the high-tech wearable workout market is the Leo, marketed to endurance athletes. “We can actually use these signals to measure your lactic acid levels and alert users before they get a cramp if they are pushing the pace too hard,” Leo also utilizes EMG and can do things that were only previously possible within the confines of a doctor’s office,” Leo Founder Leonard MacEachern told The Verge.
In reality, both wearable products among a number of others are ushering in a new wave of devices that can monitor, improve, and analyze workouts for a quarter of the price of a personal trainer. As the potential for smart wearable gadgets continues to draw new entrants into the market, it is the sports and healthcare functionality that will continue to dominate shipments, ABI Research forecasts suggest.
To learn more about Athos, head on over to their home page here.