From the Series
Dutch clothing designer Pauline van Dongen is known for her unique wearable technology, and for incorporating unique materials into her designs. Integrating solar panels and circuits into her textiles, she blends two seemingly contrasting fields: fashion and electronics. Her latest amalgam is a smart top called FysioPal that vibrates to alert the wearer of issues with their posture.
A collaboration between Van Dongen and Elitac – a company that develops and integrates vibration electronics into wearable textiles – the Fysiopal is a sleekly designed vest containing sensors that connect to a smartphone app. Its ultimate purpose is to assist in the avoidance of health issues and help the body recover from any issues caused by incorrect posture.
Designed to be worn beneath regular clothing, the FysioPal top measures the position of the wearer’s neck, shoulders and back. These measurements are collated and sent to an accompanying app. When the wearer is in what the app senses is an unhealthy position the top will softly vibrate, alerting the wearer to alter their position.
“Naturally I’m a very curious person,” Van Dongen told Next Nature. “I tend to look for things that I don’t know or can’t really grasp. Then I try to dive into them and find people that can support me and with whom I can generate new ideas…Technology is an interesting phenomenon because, just like fashion, it’s always developing, it’s based on change.”
Manufactured by Swiss company Schoeller, the shirt’s electronics are laminated directly into the textiles making it suitable for machine washing. Ideal for wearing during office hours as desk jobs are known to wreak havoc on the posture. The FysioPal app also handily provides the wearer with hourly posture analysis, monthly overall feedback, and a daily training programme to fortify the body against future potential slip ups.