The once-ascendant world of wearables seems to be on shaky ground of late, but you’ve got to hand it to polar for really going all in. The Finnish company’s certainly got the history to back it up, of course, having produced wearable heart rate monitors since the early 80s, decades before anyone managed to embed the things on a wristband.
And there’s perhaps something to be said for a wearable that’s actually, you know, wearable. After years of industry talk around embedded apparel, the company’s gone and launched a high tech top – the Polar Team Pro Shirt. The sleeveless garment has GPS and heart rate monitoring – the company’s longstanding bread and butter – built in.
From the looks of it, the shirt is less about embedding sensors into every day garments than it is making a chest-worn heart rate strap less awkward, still a solid goal, as anyone who’s ever tried to strap one on and for an extended run can tell you.
The shirt features a pair of heart rate capture points embedded into the fabric that capture heart rate data in real-time. There’s also a built-in sensor that sits in the back collar of the shirt, providing speed, distance, acceleration and the like.
Even with that level of embedding, that’s still a heck of a lot of sensors to be walking around with on a sleeveless tee, leading to questions about how comfortable the thing actually is. Though it certainly looks to be a step up from some of the torso-based heart rate straps I’ve tried on in my day. So that’s something.
No pricing yet, but the shirt is set to start shipping in March.