OMsignal's smart sports bra gives wearers instant workout feedback

CES 2016: women can receive fitness metrics and workout tips from sportswear startup OMsignal's smart bra, which was launched at the CES technology fair in Las Vegas this week (+ slideshow).

Sports bra by OMbra

The brand, which launched a line of smart shirts for men in 2014, collaborated with scientists, engineers and sports bra designers to create the OMbra.

"The evolution and growth of the OMbra came to fruition through exhaustive scientific research, ensuring that only the most sophisticated and premium of sports bras was built," said the company.

Sports bra by OMbra

"A great deal of our research was focused on biomechanics (the study of the mechanical aspects of human exercise) and support," it added.

Sports bra by OMbra

OMsignal's OMrun platform is integrated into the bra, which measures and reports back on fitness metrics such as distance, heart rate and calories. The garment connects to a smartphone app that gives instant feedback to the user, allowing them to measure the effects of their training and workouts.

Sports bra by OMbra

The app also gives breathing guidance to help wearers' improve their rhythm, and allows them to compare their fitness levels to their age group.

Sports bra by OMbra

A gauge also measures cumulative fatigue, by assessing the wearer's state of rest before, during and after a workout using heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV) and breathing.

Sports bra by OMbra

"Most technologies only use HR to estimate a state of fatigue," said OMsignal. "Few technologies, like OMsignal, can also measure HRV. Only OMsignal adds an additional layer of accuracy by factoring in your breathing, a biometric that can vary (relatively) just as much as your heart rate when exerting yourself."

Sports bra by OMbra

The garment is made from lightweight, stretchable fabric composed of a polyester, nylon and elastane blend. The material allows the bra to re-shape itself around the wearer's body as they exercise, and is designed to reduce stress on the back and shoulders.

Sports bra by OMbra

OMsignal also took into account typical sports bra complaints about sizing, support and comfort, and designed adjustable straps, lateral stitches and double-layered sides. The racerback style helps prevent the straps from slipping down shoulders, or the back of the bra from riding up.

Sports bra by OMbra

Antimicrobial mesh panels add breathability and absorb sweat away from the body. Removable padding offers additional support, and can be adjusted for different cup sizes or changing climates.

Fellow sportswear startup Vollebak is also designing smart workout garments, recently releasing a hoodie and jacket designed to improve athletic performance by using in-built soundtracks and training programmes.

Sports bra by OMbra

Other sports brands are experimenting with the possibilities of 3D-printing to customise shoes, using flexible screens to customise trainers, and developing textile coatings that can measure hydration levels.

Sports bra by OMbra

CES 2016 takes place in Las Vegas from 6 to 9 January, though previews of new product releases began on 4 January.