For the past few years, we’ve seen products such as Jawbone’s UP, Nike’s Fuel, or the Misfit Wearables. They all come in different shapes and colors and promise to record your physical activity thanks to various accelerators and sensors. All in all, they are great devices if you want to show how committed you are to exercise, or if you are making any progress in your weight-loss effort.

Montreal’s OMSignal plays in a totally different league. It records of course your physical activity, knows if you’re exercising, but it also knows how you breathe and how your heart beats, thanks to a special T-Shirt that records ECG and HRV data. A small device hangs out from the apparel, and sensors are integrated on the chest-level area. No need to have a nurse for the shirt: if it fits well, the owner has just to recharge the device, and then wear it like any other T-Shirt.

With the OMSignal shirt, we’ve then moved from measuring external metrics to internal metrics, the same that area usually reserved for doctors or health professionals. It opens up a dizzying field of possible applications, in medecine, fitness, diet, sport, medical research, or even exotic applications such as military. In the current iteration, the OMSignal claims to know if you’re happy or stressed… a god-like feature if you ask me.

Consider the following screen, taken from the iPhone app:

omsignal iphone happy stressed

The last graph shows your happiness variation during the day. Magic? Well the talented team at OMSignal thinks that if you are happy, your breathing and cardiac rhythm would be more regular and less chaotic. Inversely, a stressed person would have frequent and unhealthy changes in cardiac rhythms. Of course, the shirt doesn’t know if you’re happy because you are with a loved one, or because you’re eating your favorite food.

OMSignal is years ahead in terms of technology and who knows what uses it will have in the future. I can see the shirt pairing up with various exercice or health programs given by various health professionals, for more customized advice. If you have doubts if you’re doing well and are looking for a reference, the T-Shirt would be interesting too as occasional use, in the same vein as weight scalers. In the same time, the thought of having companies requiring employees to wear the shirt to know if they have any problem is worrying, or perhaps a government that wants to steps up from PRISM-like initiatives. All interesting thoughts.

OMSignal are offering T-shirts for the first early adopters who ask them.

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