At the 2014 U.S. Open, happening right now, we will see ball boys sporting the newest high tech T-shirt available, the Ralph Lauren Polo Tech.
This “smart shirt” with biometric tracking capabilities carries the recognizable Ralph Lauren couture touchstones, basically the shirt has a giant yellow Polo logo on its front, but its ultra scifi innards were developed by OMsignal. Basically a snug black nylon compression shirt the tee has conductive threads woven into it with a small snap-on module (what Ralph Lauren call the “Black Box) that relays information- heart-rate and breathing data-to a Bluetooth-connected to iPhone or iPad.
In addition to the above, both an accelerometer and gyrometer help track the number of steps a wearer takes and their calories burned.
This shirt is the first public showing of this new line from Polo, right now specially fitted for tennis, but certainly going to be expanded come the Spring when it debuts to the general consumer. The Black Box will be made smaller. And Ralph Lauren claims the technology here will move past pure high fashion tech statements into monitoring of all kinds. For now at the U.S. Open specifically, this shirt can help answer questions about ball boys’ health, standing-out in the sun for countless hours as they do, running sprints across court to gather balls. And truly this shirt is for ball ‘boys’ having been developed only for males presently. But Ralph Lauren promises another of their advancements will be making the shirt for both sexes.
Wearable tech is a burgeoning field…in science and fashion. The overall wisdom is that even if these items are technically technical, in the end when it comes to wearing anything, for whatever purpose, a designer stepping in to give their name or distinctive branding will certainly make the consumer more comfortable to buy the product.
You can be plenty comfortable in and buying anything from our Von Gutenberg couture line. See here.