AT&T will soon start selling a range of wireless medical devices integrated into clothes. The ‘medical’ clothes track the wearer’s heart rate, body temperature and other vital signs and then upload the results to a web portal, where the wearer can easily access the information.
According to Forbes, the technology company is following the burgeoning of the ‘e-wellness’ trend. Glenn Lurie, President of AT&T’s Emerging Devices division said in an interview to Forbes, “People want this kind of feedback about their health. Automatically pushing information to a vertically integrated site makes things easier.”
AT&T now offers more than 14 million connected devices on its network. Among them are devices with tracking services such as ‘Amber Alert’ child tracking device, Garmin’s ‘GTU 10’ GPS locator and a personal monitoring device from BlueLibris designed for senior citizens. AT&T also sells Zephyr Technology’s BioHarness, a physiological monitor that straps around the chest to record heart rate and other data.
Why start selling all these embedded into clothes? AT&T contends it could become popular not only within athletes circles but among firemen and police officers, as well as the military. In addition. Senior citizens that suffer from such from, for example, arthritis and prefer to stay at home could make use of such clothes.
A small module will be attached to clothing and can be removed for washing. AT&T will provide the wireless connectivity to push the gathered data to the web and smartphones.
Cars is another bigfocus of the AT&T. Currently, the company is also working with BMW, Ford and Nissan to wirelessly deliver safety and infotainment services to cars. According to Lurie, all cars will have embedded wireless modules in three to four years.
As Lurie believes tablets will become full laptop replacements within a year, AT&T continues to sell it. Amazon Kindle 3G with Special Offers, the AT&T ad-supported e-reader is selling “extremely well”, he said.
This fall the carrier started dedicating a separate wall for tablets and innovative devices in its stores. The new technology clothing will also be on display there.