CeBIT: Zephyr shows off BioHarness smart monitor

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CeBIT: Zephyr shows off BioHarness smart monitor

It's all in the weave.

Zephyr is showing off smart clothing that allows for remote monitoring of the wearer's vital signs.

The firm's stand at CeBIT is dedicated to two new products, the BioHarness and the ShoePod.

The BioHarness provides wireless bio-telemetry of vital signs including heart rate, ECG, respiration, body temperature, posture and activity levels.

The device is worn around the chest, and is thin, light and comfortable to wear because the fabric itself acts as the sensor.

"The BioHarness provides medical professionals and sports people with the tools to quantify cardiovascular and respiratory performance," said Zephyr chief executive Brian Russell. "Entire teams or groups can be evaluated during field trials."

Russell told that Zephyr had recently signed a contract with the US military to incorporate the BioHarness into soldiers' uniforms, thereby allowing senior officers to know the status of troops on the ground.

Emergency services have also shown interest in Zephyr's products. Fire fighters could use the BioHarness to keep track of skin temperature and other vital signs, and ambulance crews could attach it to a patient to monitor health levels.

Commercially, the BioHarness is seen as a tool for the elderly and infirm to maintain independence without sacrificing personal safety or comfort.

The ShoePod works on similar principals to the BioHarness. The sensors are part of an insole that slips into the shoe and a logger and wireless transmitter is clipped on to the side of the shoe.

The ShoePod monitors, logs and transmits biomechanical forces such as centre of pressure, gait, foot timing and strike force.

This information allows podiatrists, orthopaedic surgeons and other rehabilitation specialists to study a patient's pre- and post-injury performance.

Similarly, athletes and coaches could use the ShoePod to improve techniques and fitness levels.
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