Hexoskin Smart Clothing

Hexoskin, a wearable body metrics company, was founded in 2006 and produced its first Smart Hexoskin Shirt in 2013.  The smart clothing produced by the company has interwoven body sensors that can track your heart rate, heart rate variability, heart rate recovery, VO2 Max, breathing rate, minute ventilation, activity level, acceleration, calories burned, cadence, and step count.  According to Hexoskin, the applications for the wearable body metrics system include health monitoring, clinical research, sports and fitness performance, and space exploration.

The smart clothing is non-invasive and can send important information to iOS and Android devices for convenient, remote monitoring.  Hexoskin claims that its products and remote information sharing abilities are designed for patients, healthcare workers, researchers, athletes, coaches, and first responders. The company’s shirts measure more body metrics than any other wearable technology.

Company History

Since its founding in 2006 and the first production of its smart clothing in 2013, Hexoskin products have been used in research projects and collaborations.

In 2015, several engineering doctoral students and researchers from Purdue University participated in a project through HI-SEAS.org in which they simulated life in a domed habitat on Mars.  They monitored their health and exercise performance by wearing Hexoskin apparel and then analyzed the data collected through the body sensors.

In 2016, Hexoskin partnered with SensorUp to create an internet of things system that would report the biometrics of first responders and ultimately provide safer, more detailed communication within their units.  This project was financed by and presented to the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate.

Products

Hexoskin sells a Classic Kit and a Smart Kit for men, women, and juniors which includes a Bluetooth recording device, a USB cable, and a shirt.  However, the company sells the shirts separately if you don’t want to purchase the tech hardware.

Clothing Material

According to Hexoskin, their products are lightweight, dry, and sweat-wicking.  Each shirt is machine washable and has a built-in antibacterial treatment that prevents odors. Composed of 73% polyamide micro and 27% elastane, the shirt contours to your shape, and each women’s shirt has a built-in bra with removable cups.  Additionally, it contains a zipper pocket on the right side to hold the Bluetooth recording device.

The Hexoskin Classic Kits all come with a shirt with integrated sensors, a Classic Device (Bluetooth recording device) with a 12 hour battery life, and a USB cable to charge the device and upload the collected data.  It has Bluetooth connectivity 2.1, and it is compatible with iOS and Android, including the Apple Health App, the Apple Watch, and Wear OS. Each kit also comes with a free account on the Hexoskin Connected Health Platform.

According to Hexoskin, the Smart Kit improves on previous models and offers more advanced features.  Similar to the Classic Kit, the Smart Kit offers the base layer shirt with integrated sensors, the Smart Device, and the USB cable. However, the Smart kits have Bluetooth Low Energy 4.1,  and the devices have up to 30+ hours of battery life. The Smart Kit is also compatible with 3rd party apps such as Runkeeper, MapMyRun, and Runtastic.

According to Hexoskin, the Classic and Smart Bluetooth Devices are durably built, weigh 40g, are 13 x 42 x 72 mm, and work with OSX 10.8+ and Windows 7-8 or later.  They have a 3-axis accelerometer and can perform sleep assessments. They also measure heart rate, heart rate variability, heart rate recovery, breathing rate and volume, step count, cadence, stride, activity level, and calories burned.  

After collecting this data, the Bluetooth Device sends it to a smartphone or computer for analysis. There are several differences between the Smart Device and the Classic Device. The Smart Device has 30+ hours of battery life, uses Bluetooth 4.1, and is compatible with 3rd party apps, while the Classic Device has 12+ hours of battery life, uses Bluetooth 2.1, and is only compatible with Hexoskin related apps.  Both devices have 600 hours of raw data store-and-forward capacity.

Hexoskin offers an online fitness and health journal for all of its customers.  After creating an account, you can document your trainings and exercise sessions, track your sleep and resting performance, and examine your improvement over time.  

Pricing

The men’s, women’s, and junior’s Hexoskin Smart Kits are all $499.00 USD, while the men’s, women’s, and junior’s Hexoskin Classic Kits are all $399.00 USD.  If you want to buy the components separately, the shirts are $169.00 each, the USB cables are $29.00, the Smart Device is $330.00, and the Classic Device is $230.00.  

Studies and Independent Validation

There have been a number of studies conducted on the applications and accuracy of Hexoskin wearable technology.  One such study, titled “Validation of Hexoskin Biometric Technology to Monitor Ventilatory Responses at Rest and During Exercise in COPD” was published in the European Respiratory Journal.  The study concluded that, “The Hexoskin biometric vest is a valid tool to monitor ventilatory responses during [activities of daily living] ADLs in COPD.”  Another study titled “Evaluating a Potential Commercial Tool for Healthcare Application for People with Dementia” was published out of Wright State University. The researchers found that Hexoskin was useful in detecting physiological changes in people with dementia.  These studies are among several that evaluate Hexoskin’s accuracy.

Warranty

Hexoskin provides customers with a one-year warranty for the hardware beginning on the day of purchase.  This warranty guarantees that the tech hardware will be free from manufacturing defects under normal use or else the company will repair the product free of charge, provide an exchange item, or give a full refund.  

For the actual garments, the warranty is 14 days and affirms that the product will be free of manufacturing defects.  If it fails to meet the customer’s standards, it can be returned within the 14 day period.

Contact

You can contact Hexoskin for more information or product support at 1-888-877-2044. They are headquartered at

5800, rue Saint-Denis, Suite 402A

Montréal, QC H2S 3L5

CANADA