Convenience is one reason sales are surging. "We didn't want to create something where you had another gadget to keep track of," explains Davide Vigano, CEO and co-founder of Heapsylon. His company developed a line of machine-washable fitness gear that monitors calorie burn, heart rate and breath rate, which goes on sale this month. The company is planning to market a $199 pair of socks next year that tracks running statistics like weight distribution and pace and then suggests via an iPhone app how to improve performance.
The most ambitious smart clothing aims to save lives. In September, Rest Devices, a company created by MIT grads, started selling Mimo, a $200 organic baby romper that monitors for warning signs of sudden infant death syndrome, sending an alert over wi-fi to parents' phones. Another firm, First Warning Systems, is testing a sports bra that screens breast tissue for cancer. It could go on sale in the U.S. in 2015, pending regulatory approval.
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