For the first time in tennis history, ball boys will be wearing high-tech, biometric shirts at the US Open that starts today in New York.
The high-performance Polo Tech shirt from Ralph Lauren merges biometrics with compression apparel. Sensors developed by Canada-based OMsignal are knitted into the fabric of the shirt to biological and physiological information. The sensors include an accelerometer and gyroscope to capture movement and direction as well as technology to monitor heartbeat and respiration.
Information gathered is send via a wireless connection to an app on the user’s smartphone. There, a program uses the data to gauge performance, stress level and energy output.
According to Ralph Lauren, the tech shirt is just the start of the brand’s planned expansion into the space.
In a press release, David Lauren, son of Ralph and the EVP of advertising, marketing and corporate communications said, “Our vision is that this will transcend sports to help us at every age and in every aspect of life.”
Image: Marcos Giron, the No. 1 singles player in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, wears the shirt seen a closed demo session prior to the start of the 2014 U.S. Open in New York City.
Credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images for USTA