Last week, we took a look at a startup that has created a way for users to break a sweat from the comfort of home while also connecting them to workout buddies virtually. Today, we switch lanes to those that are in the game of smart workout clothes – essentially full-body fitness trackers – designed to contribute to your gains and losses, and maybe even supporting of your efforts to be a tad more fashion-forward.
Enflux is one of the more recent additions to the smart workout clothes cohort. The startup – which has been backed by YCombinator – makes a sensor-laden body monitor which creates an avatar of users on its smartphone app. The avatar helps track form efficiency through various exercises. The app also analyzes metrics such as joint angles, eccentric and concentric time, and oxygen saturation. Enflux’s Kickstarter campaign is ongoing; they’ve already managed to raise $52,000 of their $100,000 goal with almost a month still left to go.
Fitness trackers and smartphone apps can tell you how many calories you’ve burned, but without the help of a professional, it isn’t easy to judge if you’ve used proper technique in the process. Overexerting one side of your body or overlooking a muscle group are easy mistakes to make during workouts. Athos’ smart apparel is loaded with sensors which track activity and exertion through the entirety of your body and make that data available on your smartphone, providing real-time (and historical) information on not just how much effort you’re putting in, but if you’re doing it in a way that’s safe and optimal for your body.
Burning more calories from simply getting a pair of tights on sounds unlikely, but that’s just what Physiclo’s product does. The startup’s compression tights are made of resistance bands not unlike the ones you’d use in your strength training routines. The resistance band material is combined with activewear using custom mesh panels, resulting in tights that make even simple movements like walking and stretching a lot more arduous. The brand’s tests show a 14 percent increase in calories burnt and 23 percent greater muscle activation.
Running may appear like one of the simpler forms of cardio exercise (it’s just putting one foot in front of the other, amirite?), but bad running form can earn you Achilles tendinitis, Plantar fasciitis, and a bunch of other complex-sounding, super painful injuries. Sensoria helps you avoid all that with a pair of socks – yes, just a pair of socks. The Bluetooth-enabled socks (using textile sensors, conductive fibers and magnetic attachments) send data up to a smartphone app, which helps you correct your technique, warns you about inconsistent cadence, and even helps you compare how you perform with different shoes on.
Prateek Jose is a writer and engineering undergrad from India with an unhealthy obsession for obscure historical trivia. Conversations about absurdist fiction and the technological singularity make his day. He’s already uploading parts of his brain to servers by writing for websites such as this one.