Smart jacket lights up to motivate runners

A new jacket designed for running that lights up in accordance to speed and heart rate has recently started a Kickstarter campaign The jacket is controlled by Glowfaster, an app that works via Bluetooth and allows the user to choose settings and make adjustments based on biofeedback, all in the name of better, more efficient training.

The idea is that users respond "naturally" to the jacket's light, resulting in "intuitive motivation" that helps the body adapt as the workout continues. The Glowfaster app comes fully loaded and ready to connect to the jacket, with training presets available to set running pace and link music playlists. Syncing body biomarkers such as heart rate or measuring speed versus target via GPS makes it easy to train "more instinctively."

"I want people to be able to create their own apps with the smart clothing range to promote not only a fun and enjoyable workout but also an informative one you can react to instantly," says Glowfaster founder and UK ex-Marine Simon Weatherall.

The jacket is comparable to a product introduced in late 2013, the OMsignal shirt. A compression garment that "adopts to your body's shape," the shirt contributes to better blood circulation and performance, and helps muscles recover faster. It also tracks heart rate, breathing and movement. Data is sent to a computer or smartphone app that shows immediate and long-term exertion results, as well as current stress level and mood.

Another example is Move, a sensorized garment that tracks body movements in real time through a smartphone app.

Glowfaster is currently in Kickstarter mode and selling the jacket for 99 pounds. Weatherall and the other folks behind the app/jacket will showcase their creation at the Wearable Technology Expo In London on March 18 and 19, 2014. The product has been in development for two years, and an Android version is in the works.