Ever wanted to know what it feels like to be tackled in a game of football, but aren’t prepared to get off your couch to actually find out? You’ll love the Alert Shirt, a fun piece of wearable technology designed to make you experience every tackle, collision, and score from the comfort (and safety) of your living room.
The Alert Shirt connects to your smartphone using Bluetooth, and is filled with tiny motors which attempt to replicate how a football player feels at key moments during a game. Think haptic feedback on a larger scale, and against your body rather than the tip of your finger.
It has been created as a promotional tool for Fox Footy subscribers in Australia, provided they sign-up for 12-months of access to Rupert Murdoch’s dedicated Australian Rules Football channel. Known for being a tough, hard-hitting sport, the thought of being on the receiving end of any punishment handed out in an Aussie Rules match doesn’t sound particularly pleasant.
It’s not some half-hearted attempt to make the wearer feel closer to the action either. Apparently, data regarding what happens in a match is already being collected. It’s then matched to new impact and sensory data collected during training sessions, sent to Fox’s dedicated app, and finally to the sensors in the shirt during a live game.
The effects aren’t only felt when a player gets tackled, as the shirt also “flutters” to simulate a player’s nerves before an important kick, and amps up to replicate the elation after scoring. It’s all in real-time too. According to a spokesperson, the Alert Shirt is the closest we can get to feeling what a player feels, just by watching the game.
If you like the idea of the Alert Shirt, you’ll need an iPhone or one of several different Android devices with the accompanying app installed, a Fox Footy subscription, and to live in Australia. More than a passing interest in football will probably help too. If you don’t live in Australia, there’s always the chance Mr. Murdoch will offer the Alert Shirt as an option on an international Fox Sports channel in the future.