OMsignal Biometric Apparel

Posted: August 06, 2013

Here's a neat product for people who like to nettle and bore friends and strangers to the edge of death with news of their ailments, injuries, stress levels, and overall health. You want to converse about your state of being? Well how about conversing about it with--and enjoying nonstop engagement and feedback from--yourself? OMsignal bio-sensing apparel, undershirts for men and women that can be worn all day, every day, pair with smartphones to continuously detect and provide readouts on their wearers' biometrics and emotive states.

Founded in Montreal, Canada by Stephane Marceau and Frederic Chanay, OMsignal clothing is still in development and trial phases, with the ultimate goal of increasing the physiological awareness, fitness, and even happiness of those who wear it. Via sensors embedded in soft, moisture-wicking tops, OMsignal can monitor heart rate, breathing, and activity, while its companion app displays corresponding data in real-time. Specifically, OMsignal will:

  • Measure the speed of your bulbous, blood-pumping muscle using sensors placed directly against the skin. According to its designers, "OMsignal is the most accurate measure of your heart beats per minute (bpm)." Second, of course, is sticking your finger up your nose and doing a 6-second count, starting with number 0. OMsignal also tracks Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and renders this data to determine your stress level on a scale of 0 to 100.
  • Measure your breathing. Additional embedded shirt sensors detect respiratory rates and breathing balance using your respiration rhythms.
  • Track your activity in terms of daily steps with a built-in accelerometer. Hopefully it will also send belittling text messages to fatties whose numbers drop below 10,000 per day.
  • Estimate caloric burn (based on heart rate), both throughout the day and over extended periods of time.
  • Apprise you of your feelings. Oh, this is where it gets really good for the self-absorbed self-actualizers. OMsignal will assess your HRV to establish your "emotive state". For example, if HRV is high, you will be deemed chill; if it's low, I'm afraid you're buggin' out. Like, someone must have put their empty sodie can in the regular trash and not the recycle bin, or your waiter forgot to tell you the steak salad you ordered has meat in it. Fucking asshole.
  • Pinpoint moments in your day. At your request, OMsignal will send you notifications when you hit a relaxed moment, a moment of high stress, or one of intense activity. Notifications will include detailed information on the location and time the event took place.

Although it may sound to the contrary, I'm not knocking OMsignal at all. We as people like technology and we like analytics and we like ourselves. More than anyone else does, anyway. Why shouldn't we have access to perpetual personal biometrics? OMsignal apparel, once it debuts to the public, should be well-received. And if that's the case, I will say deservedly so.

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