It is a common challenge in the running scene: tracking your performance. Or, more precisely, how to track your sessions. A GPS-Watch? Maybe an additional strap for your chest to be even more precise regarding your heart rate? Use an extra sensor to monitor your running form on top?
If you go all in, at some point you are equipped like the action movie figure Robo Cop – just without the weapons. So, wouldn’t it be nice to have just one device that fits all the needs? If the answer is yes, then the TengFei Technical Group may have the solution: The BodyPlus Functional Wear can monitor the complete range of metrics by only wearing one base layer.
With their Smart Apparel line, TengFei and smart fitness apparel maker BodyPlus combine their knowledge to a high-quality product. The smart hardware of BodyPlus, consisting of a flexible sensor and a miniature transmitter, is combined with TengFei’s expertise on moulding, bonding and printing, resulting in a garment with optimal functions for athletes. On the inside of the seamless shirt, you have several flexible sensors, and on the outside, you have the core, which collects and saves all the gathered data of your training session. With the BodyPlus App you can store and analyze your data later. The running time of the core is up to 72 hours.
These are the functions you can track with the BodyPlus Functional Wear:
- Heart Rate Monitoring
- Breath Rate Monitoring / VO2 Max
- EMG Examination
- Calorie Burning
- GPS Positioning
- Motion Trail
- Training Report and Guiding
This is an impressive development considering how TengFei’s business started out. At their beginnings in 1997, the Chinese company produced shoulder pads for the clothing industry.
But only nine years later, the direction changed a little more towards the portfolio TengFei now presents. A seamless underwear line was on the way and turned out to be one of the corner stones of the company. In 2013, TengFei integrated the SensElast 3DPrinting technology from Germany and products like E-Fretch, Limax 3D Printing and BodyPlusFunctional Wear followed.
Research and innovation are the main incitements of the company. “We are a technical company, driven by innovation and not just a producer. We have focused and spent a lot of time and money on new technology researching and developing”, explains Jeremy Jiang, International Marketing Sales Manager of TengFei.
And it took some time to develop the perfect sensor on the inside of a shirt. Problems on the way: Too much chafing. Gets worn down in a washing machine. Doesn’t collect the data properly. There was a whole bunch of challenges, but the third and latest version of the sensor, which was presented on the ISPO Beijing 2019 at the SIGG booth is ready for action. Now you can wash the shirt without any problems, one core fits all shirts and it is chargeable with any micro USB cable. The retail price for China will be around 110 Dollars for the shirt with one core.
The latest clue will be a BodyPlus Functional Wear with a smart heating function which regulates the temperature automatically. Gone are the times where you have to switch the heater on and off all the time, the sensors inside the shirt measure the temperature all the time and keep it at the same level.
“We want to produce a high-quality product, but it still has to be affordable”, explains Jiang and gives an outlook for the numerous use cases: “We want to cooperate with marathon organizers to monitor the heart rate of the runners to prevent injuries or even fatalities. We also work with fitness studios so each member of a cycle class, for example, sees their data like burned calories, heart rate etc. on a big screen to motivate the other members to work harder.”
But TengFei doesn’t want to limit the BodyPlus wearable technology for use cases in the sporting goods industry. They are also working on a version for elderly people, “which would in case of an emergency be able to send out a notification to a doctor or some relatives if, for example, the heart rate shows some irregularities”, says Jiang.
The possibilities seem endless and TengFei is certain that wearable technologies and big data will influence a lot more areas than just the sporting goods industry. Therefore, they already upgraded their data analysis capabilities to a medical level and want to expand globally in the upcoming years.
Authors: FP - SH