NFL shirt gets biometric capabilities

Posted by Lydia Leavitt

With the amount of money the NFL throws around, it’s no wonder the league hopes to adopt biometric-enabled Under Armour shirts capable of measuring heart and breathing rate, skin temperature, force, and direction.

Kevin Haley, senior vice president of Under Armour described the prototype clothing - dubbed E39  - as breakthrough technology.

"The application is limitless.  The guys who are training with it are just enthralled with the ability to turn just around and look at how many G-forces they’ve generated.

"They’ll get coaching from coaches where they couldn’t necessarily see something with the naked eye."

Body worn technology like the E39 marks a new trend in the NFL where new attention is paid to technology with in-game statistics like body temperature, force of a hit, or player vitals.

Similar sensors have been employed in padding and helmets in the past.

"They’re able to coach them on their technique, seeing that this guy can cut better off his right leg than he can off his left - so the player’s going to work on that left leg so he can cut equally well on both," said Haley.

The monitor found within the Under Armour shirt was originally developed by Zephyr Technology for the U.S. Army Special Forces and was used by the Chilean miners to prep them for extradition.

"We’re measuring explosiveness today, but down the road, when you start thinking about soccer, lacrosse, things like that - obviously, the longer you go on, the more breathing rate becomes an issue," he added.

By monitoring players with biometric shirts, coaches and doctors have much better insight into a player’s capabilities as well as their overall health.

Under Armour points out that with instant stats, there is a whole new level of social intreraction that can be built around a player.

We can imagine it now, "Oh wow man! Did you see the G-force stat that guy just hit with? Amazing!" 

Haley says the next step will be implementing these shirts league-wide to various sports players like soccer teams and football leagues, until a later time when they will be available to the general public.

(Via NFL Blog