The concept of clothes that electronically improve posture might bring to mind a sweatshirt concealing a robotic brace that grabs slumping shoulders and jerks them into place. Or it might make you think of attractive clothing that more subtly and discreetly urges you straighten up; for instance, Dutch designer Pauline van Dongen’s new smart shirt, FysioPal.
This is not the first time van Dongen designs have had a technological twist; it’s actually something of a signature for her. In 2013, she introduced a clothing line with solar panels, and has designed a cardigan that measures ease of movement. And it all looks as good as the tech.
FysioPal, developed with Dutch tactile display company Elitac, is meant to be worn as an undershirt, although its streamlined tank top design is attractive enough to wear alone or under a sweater or jacket. Electronics are actually laminated into the fabric—no wires or uncomfortable stiffness.
The shirt determines how the wearer’s neck, back, and shoulders are positioned and sends the data to a smartphone app for assessment. If you’re slouching, the shirt discreetly vibrates, announcing you need to change the way you are sitting or standing.