To fortify the body in re-establishing its natural demeanour, the collaboration between Elitac and Pauline van Dongen has resulted in a smart shirt entitled FysioPal. FysioPal is developed with the aim to help avoid and rehabilitate from health issues caused by taking on a physically incorrect posture and upper-body position.
“It is a real pleasure to work with Anneke. She is committed, has an entrepreneurial mindset and is a master in rapid prototyping. Her commitment, vision and drive accelerate product development.”Merijn Klarenbeek – Director of Safety and Defence – Elitac B.V.
As the human body is subject to the evolution of the tools it uses, we tend to adjust our physical posture to contemporary devices we work with on a daily basis. The current design of our main working equipment, in particular in an office environment, requires one to adopt postures that disrupt the natural condition of our physique. According to contemporary healthcare research, people who have an office job nowadays are dealing with the negative side-effects of working in an unhealthy sitting position. Affecting such a majority of people, both Elitac and Pauline van Dongen felt it necessary to come up with and employ solutions to combat this issue.
FysioPal functions as a second skin that measures haptic signals around the neck, shoulders and back of the body. The FysioPal product consists of a shirt with integrated hardware, designed to be worn under regular clothing, and a smartphone app which visualises collected data on the wearerâ€™s body posture. When the wearer succumbs to an unhealthy posture, the smart tank top communicates a gentle reminder through vibration to rehabilitate the body position. Thanks to the sensorial properties and communication software, FysioPal is ideal for one to wear during office hours.
The Tactile Car Seat is currently used in multiple firefighting regions in the Netherlands. Together with safety region Groningen we have been adapting and further developing the tactile patterns, together we received the “Jan van der Heyden 2017” price for best innovation. The video below explains more about the product and its use.
Elitac specialises in developing embedded electronics for integration in textiles. The hardware used in the FysioPal project is able to measure behavior and communicate in a haptic way through vibrations which assimilate to those of a smartphone.
Through FysioPal, Elitac concentrates on new ways in testing and novel material processing to improve the usability of the hardware for this specific product, which demands an emphasis on wearability. Pauline van Dongenâ€™s focus was to create a design that embodies comfort for the wearer and is able to aesthetically appeal to the consumer, in an attempt to eliminate the stigma of wearing technology. The product is developed in complete symbiosis between both parties: the layout of the circuit of the hardware developed by Elitac influences the design of Pauline van Dongen, and the designers influence the adjustments in the hardware.
This project aims to promote how small a step it currently is for wearable technology to be implemented in everyday life. The application of technology within this project is one with a clear goal and with the intention to solve a modern health issue using future-forward solutions. Since the issue at hand has a high demand for being solved, this resulted in an ideal momentum for FysioPal to flourish, and bring tech and fashion together in a way that reconnects the wearer to a healthier lifestyle.
Wearable Development, Integrating Stretchable Electronics, Prototyping, User Experience (UX), Demonstrator App, User Testing
Pauline van Dongen