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08/25/2014

Ralph Lauren Serves Up Wearable Tech

Apparel designer and retailer Ralph Lauren is expanding its portfolio with the unveiling of its high-performance Polo Tech shirt on opening day of the U.S. Open. The Polo Tech shirt is an innovative new product that combines biometrics and lifestyle apparel, marking a revolution apparel design that aims to improve wellness and increase personal fitness.
 
"Ralph Lauren continues to be at the cutting edge of fashion and culture," said David Lauren, EVP of global advertising, marketing and corporate communications. "Our goal is to create and reflect the ultimate lifestyle, and we believe that a healthy and active life is an essential part of that. Ralph Lauren is excited to help lead the industry in wearable technology in this ever-evolving, modern world."
 
The tech shirt features sensors in the core that read biological and physiological information. The compression shirt is also sleek looking and the second-skin fit enhances comfort and agility. Developed with proprietary technology from Canadian-based OMsignal, the shirt itself will be the sensor. The OM platform delivers a variety of physiological data through the seamless apparel directly to the users via an app on their smartphone.
 
With OMsignal, the data collected by the shirt is stored and then transmitted into the cloud, where it is plugged into a number of algorithms that gauge important performance-oriented biometrics, including heartbeat and respiration, as well as some psychometrics, such as stress level and energy output.
 
As the official outfitter of the tournament, Ralph Lauren is dressing several ball boys in the Polo Tech Shirt during select matches. One player will wear the Polo Tech shirt during his practices, tracking his biometrics and making adjustments in real-time to his play, form and breathing during his singles match.
 
The company has a bigger vision in mind though. "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."
 
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