AT&T To Sell Connected Clothing. Is The BioSuit Here?

You may be most familiar with AT&T as a telecommunications company, or perhaps just a wireless operator. Or maybe just the carrier that managed to get the iPhone first. Turns out, they're much more than that. The company has an "Emerging Devices Unit," which sounds like one of the coolest places in the telecom industry to work. That unit is already responsible for wirelessly-enabled pill containers and GPS-enabled dog collars, but their next trick is really something. They have plans in place to sell "clothes that track the wearer’s heart rate, body temperature and other vital signs and upload the results to a web portal." That's right, AT&T is going to sell health-tracking garb.

It's a little crazy to associate a carrier with something so futuristic, but AT&T knows that the future lies in connected devices. And not just phones or tablets. But other things -- things that wouldn't have been thought of five years ago. Glenn Lurie, President of AT&T’s Emerging Devices division, had this to say: "People want this kind of feedback about their health. Automatically pushing information to a vertically integrated site makes things easier.”

Under Armour's E39 Compression Shirt tracks biometric signals and
transmits them to your smartphone, computer, possibly soon the cloud...

AT&T currently has over 14 million connected devices on their network, which is the most of any carrier in the States. If plans work out, sensor-based clothing will allow people to physically walk around while having their daily wardrobe send information into the cloud. Reportedly, the clothing "could resemble the E39 shirts Zephyr designed with Under Armour for athletes participating in the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this year, added Lurie. AT&T would provide the wireless connectivity needed to push the gathered data to the web and smartphones."

Fitness junkies could gain a lot from this, and even the average consumer could stand to benefit from it. Will they sell well? Hard to say, but we can't imagine walking into an AT&T shop and being greeted by a fitter.