With the rising popularity of wearable technology like the Apple Watch and fitness trackers, such as the Fitbit, it was no surprise to see wearable technology walking down the runway this fall at New York Fashion Week. Adding more function to the fashion of wearable technology is Simone Schramm, a German interface designer interested in the intersection between humans and technology. Her latest design changes the game in workout wear with her tech-infused Muscle Shirt according to TheFashionLaw. With a built in heart rate monitor, the shirt expands and contracts according to the level of exercise sensed. Here’s Simone’s description of the movement.
“Activity is perceived by the skin surface and the shirt has the potential to enhance the posture of the wearer. The transformation can also be associated with psychological values like speed and agility, which are directly related to physical activity during exercise.”
What gives the shirt its distinctive look is the laser-cut fabric, which allows for the expansion much like netting. It’s really solving the issue of how to have clothing that expands, but then returns back to its original shape. For Simone’s shirt, the bright lining colors peeking through help to accentuate the different areas of the body. Check out the shirt in action and notice how the fabric rolls up on itself in the center section.
One of the advantages of wearables with sensors is that they have the ability to translate our thoughts and actions into something visual and yet abstract. Simone’s work is focused on that more artistic and natural expression, comparable to a good user interface where change seems intuitive.
“Unlike the existing self-tracking apps, the muscle shirt’s transitions do not include any fixed steps, nor imply any categories. The transitions correspond with the human body perception and deliver a completely haptic experience. The registered measurements are also communicated in a visual way. The upper layer of the fabric has a finely sliced structure that gets pulled apart through the contraction and reveals an underlying colored layer. The originally monotonous-seeming grey fabric transforms into a colorful and lively looking piece of fashion and second skin.”
So why the Simone's Muscle Shirt over the Fitbit? Sometimes it’s just bothersome to have to look at a watch when you are jogging. The haptic experience that Simone is working on immediately gives you the feedback you need.
How do you think tech-infused fitness wear will change the way we workout?