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Editor's pick technology

How a biometric bra at CES pointed to the future of wearable technology

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Amid the smart watches, fitness bands and other wrist-based devices dominating the wearable tech scene at CES this year, there was… a bra. In a sea of gadgets targeted predominantly to men, one product stood out for the very fact it could be nothing but aimed at women.

The OMbra, as it’s called, is an intelligent sports bra. Created by OMsignal, the team behind the Ralph Lauren PoloTech Shirt, it tracks the biometric basics you’d expect, including heart rate, distance and calories burned. But there also some exclusive metrics created by the company, such as “breathing rhythm” to help moderate your respiratory system and enable you to use less energy when running; “fatigue” to gauge what state of cumulative fatigue your body is in based on previous training; and “biometric effort”, which tells you exactly the level of effort you’ve put into each run.

All of that syncs to your mobile under the new OMrun platform, aiming to help you improve efficiency and performance over time. It also connects with other apps including Apple Health, Strava, Nike+, MapMyFitness and Runtastic.

While those digital aspects are central, key to the delivery of this product, according to OMsignal co-founder and CEO Stephane Marceau, was ensuring it actually functioned as a comfortable and supportive item to wear first and foremost. Significant research was done into biomechanics for instance, focusing on such details as straps being the most common complaints about sports bras, and that the way a woman runs will change depending on how her breasts are supported.

Head over to Forbes to read my full interview with Marceau.

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digital snippets technology

Digital snippets: all the wearable tech news from #CES

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Trawling the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center during CES is the equivalent of perusing 38 football fields of shoulder-to-shoulder booths featuring endless displays of new technology.

The great news about the internet: you don’t have to actually do that hard work yourself. So here’s a round-up of all the fashion-related and wearable technology news that came out of the week, as written by other people all over the web (I too gave it a miss this year!)…

  • How Under Armour plans to turn your clothes into gadgets [Wired]
  • Under Armour’s Gemini 2 sneakers are fitness trackers for your feet (as pictured) [Mashable]
  • Misfit’s wearables hide their tech behind cool minimalism [Wired]
  • Fitbit Blaze launches as $200 Apple Watch competitor [TechRepublic]
  • Samsung unveils ‘Smart Suit’ as part of family of wearables [Mashable]
  • Samsung made a smart belt that doesn’t suck [The Verge]
  • Fossil to roll out 100 wearables [WWD]
  • OMbra biometric smart sports bra woos women [BrandChannel]
  • L’Oréal patch measures UV exposure [TrendWalk]
  • Fashion icon Iris Apfel debuts luxury smart bracelets that track health [MedicalDaily]
  • Mira’s new smart jewellery combines tech and high fashion [DigitalTrends]
  • Futuristic sneakers tighten automatically, warm your feet and are controlled by an app [MailOnline]
  • Casio maps out smartwatch territory in cyclists and hikers [FT]
  • SCOTTeVEST’s new jacket lets users cleverly store a laptop inside their clothing [iDigitalTimes]
  • Clothes at the CES fashion show actually looked pretty normal [CNET]
  • A look at some of the wackiest wearables on show [Wareable]

Image via Mashable