The FitnessSHIRT is expected to improve training capabilities, performance, and awareness of health symptoms.

There are a plethora of fitness apps on the market – Nike+, Lose It, iFitness, etc. – that track your activity, but how are you supposed to keep track of your physical metrics? Breathing and heart rate are just as important to safe and healthy fitness plans, but are less readily tracked.

Looking to change that is the FitnessSHIRT. Developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Germany, the FitnessSHIRT looks completely ordinary but actually contains sensors that monitor cardiac activity, including breathing, pulse, and changes in heart rate. Using conductive textile electrodes for ECG recording, a flexible belt in the chest/abdomen region of the shirt helps measure respiratory motion and heart activity. The data is then transmitted from a removable sensor to a memory card and/or computer for analysis and tracking. The hope is that FitnessSHIRT can serve a dual purpose: maximize exercise performance, and improve safety through monitoring.

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