As a competitive long-distance runner, I’m always on the lookout for ways in which to gain that extra edge.
These days, there are no shortage of smartphone apps, fitness tracker devices, cardio monitors and watches which record data but often, it can be difficult to apply the vast amounts of information to your chosen sport or discipline.
In running, for instance, very few people mull over stats aside from distance completed and the time in which it took to complete the run. But, actually, your heart rate and breathing patterns are equally as important, especially when you are looking to increase your speed.
The fact that the market is awash with many data-driven sports products, perhaps, makes Vexatec’s wearable technology agility t-shirt that little bit more remarkable. In fact, the Swiss company market their work as the world’s first tracking and agility top.
Vexatec records your full range of body motion and the mechanics behind your performance, and in essence, makes it easier to complete multiple testing experiences.
Before its arrival, there was little evidence of any other product combining high-end microchips and state-of-the-art recording technology onto and within a single piece of clothing, with high-level data then syncing up seamlessly with your phone and other devices.
Having tested out the product during a 5km run on a treadmill at the Bab Al Qasr Hotel in Abu Dhabi as part of the product’s testing event, the Vexatec top and device was very comfortable to wear. The tracking tool clips right onto the front of a compression shirt, and importantly, there’s no strap so you don’t feel it whatsoever.
Although it records detailed information, it’s a relatively simple product in that the device has a 24-hour rechargeable battery life. It comes with several compression tees – with separate designs for both men and women – that you just alternate after wash.
Personally, I found it useful to see my heart rate level in graph form and where I was peaking in terms of beats per minute. Training at close to your highest threshold point (peak heart rate) helps pump more oxygen around the body and for runners, it’s very important to train at high intensity in order to improve pace.
While the specific pricing of the product will be revealed next year, you would expect budding athletes to be willing to give it a go.
Vexatec’s main goal is to optimise performance, with a great focus on the training aspect – helping to get people ready for competition. With highly efficient, real-time electrocardiography (ECG) signals, its 360-degree monitoring fully tracks your movement and posture. Indeed, it can tell whether you’re doing a plank or press-up – two very similar movements.
While the technology will launch officially in Europe in January 2018, a string of top sportsmen have already tried and tested it, including tennis star Tommy Haas and Formula One driver Pascal Wehrlein as well as German football legends Lothar Matthaus and Torsten Frings.
Plans are also afoot, though not yet finalised, to see the technology sold in the UAE and throughout the Middle East.
While the product can be used as a weight-loss tracker device, it is naturally tailored to high-level amateur and elite performers across a smattering of sports, as well as sports medicine departments.
There is still plenty of room though for Vexatec to develop its supplementary products and apps to help users digest information. The company also revealed their plans to bring the product and newer adaptations to the mass market in the near future.
Still, for a high-tech concept that was still in development 18 months ago, founder Salvatore Gandolfo and his team’s journey has already surpassed expectations.
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