The next generation of wearable technology aims to embed sensors in your clothes, so you only need to get dressed to start monitoring your health. Early prototypes of garments can measure heart rate through ECG sensors on a T shirt or EEG sensors in a beanie hat can monitor brain activity. Cycling shorts can measure how hard muscles are working and chest sensors can measure respiration rate based on chest movements as the wearer breathes. In 2010, researcher at the University of California developed smart underpants to monitor the vital signs of soldiers. The preventative scope of wearable technology is appealing. The European Union is funding an international smart clothing research project called MyHeart, which it hopes will help prevent cardiovascular diseases – the leading cause of death in the West. Further studies aim at detecting diabetes, stress, sleep apnoea or asthma attacks. In future we may have smart clothes that could diagnose illnesses before we even feel ill.

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