STRETCHING OUT WEARABLES: Yogis try day after day to improve their practice and now Wearable X is offering yoga pants embedded with electronics meant to help finesse their alignment.
With the help of 50-plus yoga instructors, Wearable X spent two years developing the $299 leggings. By using the companion iPhone app and “Pulse” battery that connects to the Nadi X pants via Bluetooth technology, yoginis of all abilities — from beginners to gurus — can work on their technique. The bean-shaped battery is meant to be clipped behind the wearer’s upper left knee to activate the sensors in the yoga pants. Based on the frequency and intensity of each vibration, the wearer will know to be better anchored in each pose. Amy Giuliano, Mietta Gornall and Aditi Shah are among the yoga instructors who helped work on the project.
Started in Sydney in 2013 by Billie Whitehouse, Wearable X now operates out of New York City. The company will have another launch event at the NeueHouse in New York on June 1 for its first direct-to-consumer product. Through the embedded sensors, the wearer’s pose can be identified and if adjustment is needed, real-time feedback is provided to help guide the individual with a series of pulses.
Reached in Los Angeles Wednesday, Whitehouse said, “Brands say they’re innovative but often they aren’t. For us, it was a matter of knowing we could do this product, there was a need and people were really excited by it,” she said. “The main reason we did this was that touch is such an important part of so many people’s practices and that has always very much been the center of our brand. From a business standpoint, there are 36 million yogis in America alone so being able to tap into that community was extremely powerful.”
Whitehouse added: “Yoga is very much about raising your vibration. That is something I hear and experience very regularly in different yoga practices whether at Laughing Lotus in New York or Sky Ting.”
In a month or so, Whitehouse will introduce a sports bra with embedded sensors and an app that will include timed meditations. Placed vertically along the back and chest, the sensors will vibrate one at a time to cue the wearer when to inhale or exhale for a designated amount of time. There are no current plans to sell the Nadi X via retailers. Whitehouse said, “I want to learn how to do this ourselves not just from understanding the consumer standpoint. I don’t believe that we belong on a rack next to other products. The product has magic and is enchanted with technology. I don’t think being on a rack next to everyone else will do us justice.”
Next year Wearable X will introduce a range of other styles as well as new verticals, collecting data for runners, power lifters and other athletes. “We can change the algorithm, basically the learning engine behind the themes of the app,” Whitehouse said. “Some of that could just be a software update — the same way that you update your iOS every three or four months, you can update your clothes.”
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