An activity tracking vest, dubbed “the man bra”, has tracked the performance of 150 sports teams, the latest being college basketball team Penn Quakers.
The skin-tight vest, made by Australian tech company GPSports, is fitted with a slot designed for its GPS enabled High Performance Unit, which includes an accelerometer and a heart rate monitoring chest strap.
The training data is uploaded in real time to GPSports’ desktop software, where coaching staff can see who is pulling their weight and who is not. The software reportedly saves teams up to two hours per day, with an average data processing time of 20 minutes for every 10 players.
Having tracked its way around 150 teams around the world, across 10 sports, the smart clothing comically nicknamed the man bra, or “bro” according to GPSports international sales manager, Damien Hawes, is now being used by college basketball Ivy Leaguers, the Quakers. Coach Steve Donahue was inspired to add the wearable tech to his training sessions by fellow basketball team the Philadelphia 76ers.
“You’re not guessing any more,” Donahue told American Sports Network. “You don’t want to overdo it, but I think it’s another method that eventually makes us smarter and inspires and motivates the guys to get better. They’ll have an understanding of what their bodies are going through.”
The man bra has also received praise from those wearing it. “It’s pretty valuable to have things like that and have data on how much we run in practice,” said Quakers guard Jamal Lewis.
With the likes of football clubs Real Madrid and Chelsea FC as well as Rugby League teams already trialling the smart clothing, this could become a go-to tracking system for coaches. But with a price tag of around $1,000, right now it’s strictly for professionals only.