Called Vitali, it goes beyond the regular smart clothing schtick of monitoring miles run, calories burned, et cetera, by instead focusing on tracking breathing, posture and heart rate variability to keep stress levels in check at all times.
“When I was a mechanical engineering student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, I was stretched to my limits with an overly full course load, student teams, athletics, a part time job, and minimum sleep,” Vitali founder Cindy Gu told Digital Trends.
“That led me to a period of depression. I tried medication and therapy, but none of it was very effective for myself. Eventually, a friend got me to try yoga, and it changed my life — so much so that I became a yoga teacher. While yoga definitely helped my depression and stress, I still found it was difficult to keep up that level of mindfulness and awareness of my physical and mental well being day to day through stressful work, meetings, and everything in between. I decided I needed a tool to help me out.”
Gu said she started sewing sensors onto existing bras to monitor her breathing and biofeedback when she got stressed out. She then visited a hackathon, where she successfully pitched the idea to a group of like-minded entrepreneurs. Jump forward in time, and the project is (almost) ready for prime time with the new crowdfunding campaign.
The tech works by detecting subtle changes in the upper diaphragm during breathing, while fabric-based sensors — such as a built-in gyroscope and 9-axis accelerometer — also collect data. This is all then sent to a diamond-shaped onboard device for processing, before personalized feedback is set to users in the form of gentle vibrations.
You can pre-order a Vitali sports bar on Kickstarter, with prices starting at $129. Shipping will begin in February 2018.