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Wearable Tech At SXSW

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Categorized Under: South by Southwest


This prototype pilates garment helps track your moves in the studio and provide feedback on your performance. The designer, Jennifer Darmour, spoke at SXSW Interactive 2013. (Leo Lam)

This year at SXSW, it’s all about wearable technology. Everyone’s talking about what we’ll be able to do with our clothes in the future.  And while it’s fun to think ahead to what you MIGHT be able to get your hands on, or put your hands in, next year, there are high-tech fashion items available now. Here are a few interesting products I’ve heard people talk about:

  • InPulse Smart Notification Watch
    You don’t have to wait for the rumored Apple iWatch to check your text messages, email, or recent phone calls on your wrist. A few companies already  have watches keeping you from relying on your phone for updates, including Inpulse’s Smart Notification Watch.
  • Lumoback
    This device nags you when you slouch. Worn on your lower back, it vibrates when you need to straighten up and connects to your iPhone or iPad. You can also track your progress over time to see whether you’ve learned to maintain better posture.
  • BodyMedia FIT LINK Armband
    This is a Bluetooth-enabled system that measures calories burn and relative effort levels throughout the entire day to help manage fitness and weight loss goals. The device has four sensors that measure skin temperature, heat flux, and galvanic skin response;  a 3-axis accelerometer built into the armband tracks motion/movement.

And if you’re into golf, there’s the glove that tracks your swing

Have you tried any of these devices? What do you think of their performance, and how they look? What do you want your clothes to do for you? Let us know, and stay tuned. Tuesday I report on a tank top that doubles as a Pilates coach, and a dress that allows you to send messages to friends on Facebook.


  • Sensum

    Hi Lauren, you might be interested in our wearable skin sensors that measure tiny changes in sweat levels as audience members watch (or experience) a piece of media or performance. We launched at a previous SXSW having been developed out of an interactive cinema feature that we demoed there. We’ve used our mobile audience test to with Game of Thrones cast and crew, Grammy-award winner Imogen Heap and others – thought you might enjoy reading about that!

    Hope you’d a great time; our Ireland team would have loved to get over this year but just too busy – had to delegate to our USA colleagues!