Wearable Technologies – Flex and MAS Holdings Develop Smart Clothing
At this year’s Wearable Technologies show in San Francisco, Flex and MAS Holdings unveiled a new partnership designed to co-innovate wearable technologies which accelerate and integrate the Intelligence of Things® into clothing, and enable more natural, intuitive interactions between people and technology.
As part of this announcement, MAS Holdings’ CEO Nathan Sivagananathan unveiled new Firefly activewear clothing. The Firefly products include shirts and safety belts that include integrated LED-lighting designed to make running, bicycling or working on a construction site much safer.
Firefly smart clothing is unique in embedding a series of 18 LED lights which flash in a pattern that looks like a moving person. This avoids the challenges of current clothing-based safety systems – reflectors rely on external light sources, so a driver may not see a reflector on a jacket in time, and fixed lights are not as easy to see as a string of flashing lights.
Flex worked with MAS Holdings to make sure the motion of the flashing lights would look like a person running or riding a bike from a long distance, as the lights show a runner’s moving arms or a bicyclist’s pumping legs. The battery charge on a shirt is expected to last about five hours between charges, or a week’s worth of workouts.
In addition, John Dwyer, vice president of Consumer Technology at Flex, described how Flex customers are looking for seamlessly integrated, continuously connected, networked and economically feasible wearable technology products.
Flex’s Sketch-to-Scale strategy has been instrumental in helping partners such as MAS Holdings create fun and magical new products, such as the Lumo Run line of shirts and shorts. Lumo Run smart clothing combines fashion, technology and function to create a virtual running coach. The technology, based on sports biomechanics research on distance running done at Loughborough University in the UK, has already resulted in new knowledge about running technique, identifying key characteristics for ideal running form.
That’s the wrap up of Wearable Technologies 2016. For more reports from the show, check out the Wearable Technologies site for more.