Sensoria: Fitness Tracking Meets Smart Garments
The founders of Sensoria Inc. believe that clothing can be the next wave of “ultra-personal computing” and have created a collection of apparel featuring embedded sensors that connect to an app that tracks data such as activity type, heart rate, gait and in-footwear pressure to the user.
Founded in 2010, the company produces proprietary sensor-enabled T-shirts, sport bras and smart socks.
“We felt that there was an opportunity for the sports apparel and fashion industry to reinvent itself through technology, so we set out to create smart garments that behave like a biometric-sensing computer that feel natural with elegant and cool looks,” said Davide Vigano, chief executive officer, who cofounded the company with Chief Technology Officer Maurizio Macagno and Innovation Adviser Mario Esposito.
The founders each have several decades of experience in software and technical innovation. Vigano is a former Microsoft executive with more than 25 years of experience in sales, marketing and product management.
Sensoria’s Smart Socks and Smart Garments connect to the Sensoria App via Bluetooth Smart and Ant+ through textile-embedded sensors.
The socks have been designed to function as a textile circuit board. Sensors are sewn directly into the sock under the plantar area (bottom of the foot) to detect foot pressure. The conductive fibers relay data collected by the sensors to the anklet, monitoring foot landing, contact time on the ground and cadence, plus other familiar parameters. The Smart Socks tell you not only how far and how fast but how well you run, thereby helping to reduce the risk of injury.
Sensoria’s smart garments use Emana Yarn, created by Brussels-based Solvay. The smart yarn utilizes a far-infrared technology to improve skin elasticity, reduce muscle fatigue with less oxygen consumption and aid in faster recovery times. The material also includes moisture wicking and antimicrobial components in addition to being machine washable.
There’s a Sensoria Fitness sports bra with heart rate–monitoring functions that consistently monitors the wearer’s heart rate. According to a company spokesperson, because the heart-rate monitor is worn over the wearer’s heart, the bra provides more-accurate data than a wrist-worn device.
The Sensoria Fitness app features a virtual coach, called Mara, who provides actionable real-time audio and video feedback. In terms of technology, Sensoria Fitness’ v2 app currently features Heart Sentinel, a cardiologist-designed, patent-pending algorithm that will detect cardiac irregularities often preceding a catastrophic event, such as a sudden cardiac arrest. When it detects irregularities, it offers the user a real-time alert countdown to confirm that the user is still conscious, or it alerts selected emergency contacts via text message, urging them to seek immediate help. This feature is specifically designed for people who lead active lifestyles in remote locations.
With the Sensoria HRM, users can continuously track actionable heart-rate metrics ensuring they stay within their desired training zone. The HMR also works with other popular apps—including Runtastic, Strava, Endomondo, PolarBeat and MapMyRun—and can measure heart-rate variability (HRV) and heart-rate recovery (HRR).
Sensoria has tested the system with hospital simulators and is now using real-life user data to optimize and finalize testing of the algorithm.
The socks are manufactured in Wisconsin and the garments are manufactured overseas. Sensoria has products available for sale via its website (www.sensoriafitness.com) and Amazon.com. It also currently has three bricks-and mortar-stores in Italy, in Milan, Rome and Bergamo.