Financial Post - July 7th, 2015
"When Pierre-Alexandre Fournier takes a breath of air, the image of a pair of lungs lights up on his smart phone showing how often and how much he inhales. A graph shows his pulse jump with every heartbeat. He’s also monitoring how much he moves, how many calories he’s burning, and when he goes to bed he’ll be able to collect information about his sleep patterns.
The co-founder of Montreal-based Hexoskin, Fournier said not too long ago getting all this information would have meant being hooked up to a tangle of wires and sensors. Today, he’s wearing a T-shirt with biometric sensors sewed right into the fabric.
“After studying different possibilities we found out that if we wanted to put sensors on people, the best way to do it is to make it part of what they wear every day,” said Fournier.
Hexoskin looks a lot like a regular Spandex sports shirt and is plugged into a recording module about the size of a pack of gum that’s carried around in a pocket. The module sends information to a computer or smart phone via Bluetooth so it can be monitored in real time.
Fournier and business partner Jean-François Roy started Hexoskin in 2006, financing the company through grants, private investments and sales.
Less than two weeks ago, the company’s shirt became the first piece of “smart clothing” to be sold by Best Buy Canada.
“It’s an important milestone, said Fournier. “We feel that we’ve completed a cycle from product design to manufacturing to selling it online and directly by reaching a very large retailer.”
The shirt is entirely designed and made in Canada. In fact, Hexoskin is the first Quebec-made product to be sold by Best Buy."