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Smart Shirt Syncs To Your iPhone, Trains You In Pilates

Does this mean FaceTime is coming to abs?

As the weather warms and we all realize that we’ll be removing clothing in public for another summer, pilates seems like a better and better idea. But how do you–what’s the verb I’m looking for–pilate? Pilatorize? Pilatiocize?

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Move, by ElectricFoxy, is a prototype tank top that uses four stretch sensors to feel the postures of your shoulders through your back and recognize the poses of exercises like yoga, pilates and even sports like baseball and golf. If you did something wrong in almost any activity, haptic feedback (vibrations) could let you know. It’s an automated trainer for those who don’t like yoga classes, much like the MotivePro.

But what makes Move a bit different is that it actually syncs with an iOS app in real time, not so differently from what we see in Nike+ products. This sort of on-the-fly analysis is technically daunting, as it means that not only do positioning algorithms need to recognize and identify postures, but the built-in Arduino needs to crunch these numbers in real time. And when it comes to pushing one’s body into some pretty extreme contortions, inaccurate or mistimed feedback could be pretty devastating, ironically inducing the same sort of injuries the Move is built to prevent.

I don’t envy the development team, but the idea has extreme potential. Imagine wearing Move to your weekly golf outing, then charting your swing’s progress over time. Or better still, what if you just wore Move as an undershirt at all times, and rather than optimizing your downward dog, it just watched out for those stupid motions we all make that could tweak your back. The longer it recorded, the more data a doctor could analyze, cross referencing any new pains with any red flags in your entire movement history.

Indeed, maybe the best part of Move isn’t that it will prepare your body for the beach, but that it will be an excuse to cover it. “I’m training,” you say pompously, a girdle of diodes hiding your beer belly for yet another season.

[Hat tip: ecouterre]

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About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company. He started Philanthroper.com, a simple way to give back every day

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