(Left) Concept/Prototype shirt (Right) Material showing a change in resistance when stretched (via ElectricFoxy)
Pilates is a physical fitness regimen that is practiced throughout the world with over 11 million in the United States alone (with over 14,000 trainers). The routine helps build lean muscles along with strength and endurance. However, some may be performing these stretching exercises all wrong which could actually wind up hurting you in the long-term instead of helping you. In an effort to correct the improper posturing techniques designer, Jennifer Darmour has developed specialized ‘smart-clothing’, termed Project Move, which alerts you when you’re Pilates form (or any other work-out regime) veers off-course.
(Left) Concept shirt, possible final form (Right) App render (via ElectricFoxy)
Jennifer’s conceptual clothing uses pre-positioned sensors (4 stretch-and-flex sensors woven into the fabric) located at key positions throughout the garment. These sensors monitor the user’s movements when working out and checks them against positional diagrams on a mobile device using a Bluetooth connection. If your movements are veering out of line, a small haptic-feedback motor will vibrate the area that needs correction. The downloadable Move app also allows the user to analyze their progress and see how well the movements were performed. This allows the user to make adjustments to their regimen, which lessens the possibilities of long-term damage or chronic pain.
Jennifer’s early prototypes are based on an Arduino dev board (unknown as to which), however, she’s looking to incorporate other processor/platforms that can take advantage of the complex algorithms needed to monitor body movements. Don’t expect to see the Move clothing line anytime soon as Jennifer states that the project is still an early concept (and prototype), so you’ll have to stick with personal trainers for now.