There is no shortage of wearable technology out there, but University of Waterloo college students Dhananja Jayalath and Christopher Wiebe wanted something that could tell them if they were actually working the right muscles when lifting weights. Seeing as their budget didn’t stretch to a personal trainer, the pair decided to develop their own. The workout clothing is called Athos and can track your muscle groups, heart rate, breathing level and more.
It took three years from when they first conceived the idea, but thanks to their perseverance and $3.5 million in seed funding from Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social+Capital Partnership, you can now pre-order the outfits, which will be available in the spring of 2014.
Athos uses electromyography, or EMG, to measure and evaluate electrical signals generated by muscles. With EMG, electrode adhesive sensors are put on the muscle to collect electricity and the raw signal, a technique normally used to conduct physiotherapy, rehab, and treat muscular degenerative diseases.
The sensors, 14 for your muscles and a pair for your heart rate and breathing, are built into a compression suit (a long-sleeved exercise top and bike shorts/legging) that transmits muscle data to a small module, called the core. This core then wirelessly syncs this data to Athos’ software app, which collects all information and actually gives users a way to track and understand their workouts.
In terms of cost, Athos will be charging $99 for any piece of clothing, and $199 for a core. Although it’s being tested on professional athletes and other “power” athletes, the makers say it’s accessible to everyone:
I think we all want to be more physically capable – this means being a father who is able to play sports with his kids, a young woman who wants to use yoga as their primary workout or an NBA player who is training to excel and make another all-star team. The point is that a more optimal understanding of one’s physique is really useful information and can be used for a wide spectrum of things.