Wearable tech company Hexoskin lands deal with Canadian Space Agency
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Hexoskin and the CSA reached a $2.4 million agreement that will see astronaut David Saint-Jacques wear their Astroskin smart monitoring shirt aboard the International Space Station. The technology will be used to remotely track Saint-Jacques's vitals and overall health in real time during his upcoming six-month stay on the ISS in 2018.
Astroskin is a tight-fitting shirt that tracks and collects data. The shirt monitors heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, skin temperature, sleep quality, heart-rate variation and activity level. The company began testing it more than two years ago, when a group of eight men and women wore Astroskins during a 45-day expedition in Antarctica.
The explorers were monitored remotely in real time from thousands of miles away, while Antarctica’s extreme conditions pushed their bodies to the limit. This test was vital for Astroskin because, as the name suggests, it is destined for outer space.
Astroskin is a “smart shirt” that will collect scientific data on astronauts’ vital signs during their missions: https://t.co/OO192MfOpG. pic.twitter.com/rPRfOABEq0 — CanadianSpaceAgency (@csa_asc) October 21, 2016
We first covered Hexoskin in 2014, and even today their smart shirts remain unique. The vast amount of wearables are wrist-based, but they monitor heart rates and other vitals less accurately compared to chest and torso-based devices. Hexoskin utilizes three strategically located monitors to try and provide more accurate data.
The updated shirts now pair via Bluetooth with an app, as well apps like Strava for both iPhone and Android. Users are able to track an array of easy-to-understand metrics in real time. Full Hexoskin kits, available for men and women, start at $400.
Hexoskin sees remote monitoring devices as a key component in the future of preventative medicine. The company’s new multi-million dollar contract with CSA will help fund further research and development to continue to improve their products, before they are put to the biggest test yet aboard the ISS.