At the U.S. Open tennis tournament last August, Ralph Lauren made a bold foray into the wearable tech field with the debut of the Polo Tech smart shirt. Select ball boys at the tournament wore the compression shirt, which was able to track their fitness activity during the course of the matches they worked.
Now, Ralph Lauren is gearing up to launch the shirt for retail this year. The nylon shirt features a stretchy band underneath the chest that is woven with biosensing silver threads. Attached is a module that captures the person’s vitals and transmits them in real-time to a smartphone app. The technology is powered by OMSignal, a maker of biometric smartwear, including several different fitness shirts.
The Polo Tech Shirt is not for sale yet, though Ralph Lauren had originally stated it would be available this spring. David Lauren, the company’s executive vice president of global advertising and marketing, stated that more products would be forthcoming and that in the retail version, the module would shrink in size. “Our vision is that this will transcend sports to help us at every age and in every aspect of life,” said Lauren. “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.”