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Dole supplies smart bananas with LEDs and sensors to Japanese marathon runners

Wearables are many things, but they are not often edible. Dole Japan is ready to turn every assumption you’ve ever had about what makes the perfect wearable for a marathon runner with the Wearable Banana: A smart banana with built-in LEDs and sensors that track your time, heart rate, and tell you when you need to refuel by eating said banana.

Dole Japan has sponsored the Tokyo marathon since 2008 and it always supplies its potassium-rich bananas to runners who need a pick me up mid-marathon. The company’s given out bananas with runners’ time and stats printed on the peel before, but now it’s going one step further. The Wearable Banana will be strapped on two lucky runners at the Tokyo marathon this year.

Although running around with a banana tacked onto your sweaty chest while running 26.2 miles may not sound too appealing, the Wearable Banana is actually pretty awesome.

Wearable Banana
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Thanks to the LED screen and sensors that have been embedded into the fruit’s peel, the runner will be able to view encouraging messages from Twitter, their time, heart rate, and when they need to eat more bananas along the way. At the end of the race, they’ll see all their stats on the banana, but the runners can even eat the banana if they so choose. It’s unclear if the electronics alter the fruit’s taste at all, but a determined Japanese scientist ate the whole thing in the promo video.

The Tokyo marathon starts Sunday February 22, and some 300,000 runners will participate in the grueling run. The only question that remains is who will be wearing the smart bananas?

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Malarie Gokey
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