If you want to stress-test technology and neither space nor underwater are available, Antarctica is a pretty good choice. That’s what the Canadian Space Agency is doing with body monitors that they want to send into space.
Astroskin is an autonomous medical monitoring system for astronauts, which consists of an intelligent garment for the upper body and a headband fitted with sensors, and associated software and technology that measure vital signs, sleep quality and activity level of the wearer.
The concept is pretty straightforward: sensors are built into a base layer shirt which sits as a layer underneath overclothes, and which send their data to a collection/transmission point (like a cell phone). The only difference is that a) the overclothes are a space suit, b) the transmission point is sending data from orbit to earth, and c) if something doesn’t work, you can’t return it to the Nike store any time soon.
The Canadian Space Agency is working with a team of six Antarctic explorers; the shirt was developed by Carre Technologies of Montreal.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt77WseSckQ]