Wearable technology has made big strides in recent years, from fitness trackers and smartwatches to shoes that vibrate to give you directions, tops that soak up air pollution, and a jacket that doubles as a solar-powered phone charger. Levi's and Tommy Hilfiger are among the brands getting in on the act.
Now Greek startup Tribe Wearables wants to use high-tech clothing to make your workouts more effective.
The company is developing gym shorts that sense your every move, tell you how to improve your workouts and help prevent injuries.
A laboratory in your shorts
Once a keen basketball player, Tribe Wearables founder Demetres Stordopoulos suffered a knee injury in 2010 during his studies at university. The computer science student was frustrated by weeks of physiotherapy exercises, unable to check whether he was healing in between check-ups with his doctor.
A trip to a biomechanics lab in 2013 inspired Stordopoulos. He wanted to take the lab's monitoring technology and put it into gym clothes. He hoped these smart garments could track the wearer's progress and health outside the lab -- at a fraction of the cost.
But making a complex technology suitable for everyday use was not an easy task.
The prototype was "like a pair of shorts, a computer and an octopus had a child," says Stordopoulos.
Nikos Aggelousis, Tribe Wearables' lead bioengineer, admits he was skeptical at first and felt the project was too ambitious.
"The idea was to develop a wearable by putting an entire biomechanics lab on a pair of shorts, using an embedded technology that itself was under research and development," he said.
Now, paper-thin sensors make the smart technology in the clothes almost unnoticeable.
Each pair of Tribe Wearables shorts contains sensors that collect data and send it to an app, which then suggests which exercises would best suit the user. It also provides virtual coaching, offering feedback and making sure that a workout is at the right level of intensity.
Stordopoulos believes this technology will prevent sports injuries and give people more control over their own fitness.
A smart T-shirt is also under development.
Read the full article on the CNN.