APPAREL WITH SENSOR AND METHODS OF MAKING THE SAME

An item of clothing that includes a first textile area that is suitable to receive at least one sensor, a second textile area, and a third textile area, which is arranged at least partially between the first and second textile areas. The third textile area is provided such that when the item of clothing is worn it isolates at least one motion between the first textile area and the second textile area, so that a sensor or sensors remain substantially fixed in relation to an area of a subjacent organ of a wearer of the item of clothing.

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Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

The present invention relates to an item of clothing with a sensor as well as a method for the manufacture of an item of clothing.

2. Background

Items of clothing are increasingly being provided with sensors, particularly in the area of sports, but also in the stationary or ambulatory monitoring of patients. These sensors can measure physiological data of a wearer of such an item of clothing. For example, physiological data may include heart rate, electrocardiogram (ECG) signals, respiratory signals, current state of motion, body temperature, and many other types of data.

For example, heart rate can be measured through two electrodes that make contact with the skin of a human. The human heartbeat, in particular its so-called RR-Interval, brings about voltage changes on the skin, which can be measured by the two electrodes.

The measurement of respiration may take place through meander-shaped electrical conductors, which can be arranged in the chest and/or abdomen region and respectively represent an electrical coil and are connected to an electrical oscillator. Due to respiratory motion, the circumference of the chest and abdomen change, along the length of the conductors, the inductance of the coils, and finally the oscillation frequency. The alteration of the oscillation frequency can be evaluated and permits conclusions to be made with regard to the respiratory motion.

The state of motion of a human can be detected by way of position sensors or acceleration sensors. Position sensors are able to provide data with respect to their position in space, while acceleration sensors measure acceleration acting upon them. The sensors can be arranged at individual body parts such as the limbs for instance, in order to measure the motion and/or position of the body parts. Distance sensors can be used in order to measure the distance between individual body parts in relation to one another.

It is desirable that the sensors attached to or carried by the item of clothing remain fixed, i.e. do not shift. For example, a shifting of an above described electrode for heart rate measurement can lead to the contact to the skin being interrupted or lost entirely so that a measurement of the voltage on the skin generated by the heart beat is no longer possible, is interrupted, or is inaccurate.

A sensor may shift a distance from the organ, the physiological signals of which are to be measured. For example, an above described object for measuring respiratory motion can shift too far upwards in the direction of the armpits or may tilt, so that a determination of the respiratory motion is no longer possible, interrupted, or inaccurate. In a different example, an electrode for measuring the heart rate may, upon wearing an item of clothing that is equipped with such electrodes, shift away from the heart to such an extent that a measurement of the voltage on the skin generated by the heartbeat is no longer possible, is interrupted, or is inaccurate.

The desire for preferably fixed, i.e. non-shifting sensors, attached to or carried by items of clothing can run directly contrary to the fact that such items of clothing may be worn in situations where body motion favors shifting. For example, the wearer of an item of clothing for a sport sometimes practices complex and strong movements that favor shifting. But sports are one type of activity where non-shifting sensors are preferred. For example, a football player (also known as soccer) raises their arms above their head when performing a throw-in, so that the trunk portion of their jersey experiences a force in the upwardly direction, i.e. in the direction of the head. With a tennis player, a once-sided force occurs at the upper body clothing when hitting the ball, which can lead to a twisting of the upper body clothing in relation to the skin. In the non-athletic context, patients who wear items of clothing provided with sensors during the night for purposes of monitoring may unconsciously change their lying position and move, which can lead to the shifting of the clothing and sensors.

In connection with the problem of the shifting of the sensor from the organ to be measured, it is particularly important that the sensor is optimally positioned initially to obtain accurate readings. If immediately after putting on the item of clothing provided with the sensor, said sensor is already inappropriately positioned such that a signal can barely be measured, then a shifting caused by movement can be tolerated even less than if the sensor is positioned optimally immediately after putting on said item of clothing. If the sensor is incorrectly positioned immediately after putting on said item of clothing, i.e. is too far away from an organ that is to be measured for instance, then the sensor is unable to measure any signals from the outset.

Thus an object underlying embodiments of the present invention is to provide an article of clothing to position a sensor that is provided in the item of clothing as best as possible so that when the item of clothing is worn a shifting of the sensors is reduced or avoided and that the measuring signal picked up by the sensor is not interrupted or inaccurate. It is a further object of embodiments of the present invention to provide a method for manufacturing an item of clothing (e.g., sports clothing).

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a first aspect of embodiments of the present invention, this problem is solved by an item of clothing, whereby the item of clothing comprises as first textile area, which is suitable to receive a sensor, a second textile area, and a third textile area that may be arranged at least partially between the first and second textile area, whereby the third textile area is provided such that it isolates relative motions between the first textile area and the second textile area that occur when the item of clothing is worn, so that a sensor received by the first textile area remains substantially fixed relative to an area of a subjacent organ of a wearer of the item of clothing.

“Substantially fixed” means that when worn, the sensor does not shift to such an extent, that measuring is no longer possible. The area of the subjacent organ can be the area in which the sensor is able to measure a measuring signal. If the sensor is a heart rate electrode, which lies against the skin, then this area can have a diameter of several centimeters on the skin, 10 cm for example. If the organ is the skin, then preferably the sensor is to remain substantially fixed relative to only a portion of the skin.

Different than the known items of clothing that are provided with sensor, the item of clothing disclosed here provides a third textile area which substantially isolates the relative motion between first and second textile areas. The first textile area, which may receive a sensor, can move, twist, rotate, or extend almost independently from the second textile area. The provision and arrangement of an isolating third textile area between the first and the second textile area reduces or avoids the forces occurring between the first and second textile areas due to relative motions between the first and second textile areas, caused through body motion of a wearer of the item of clothing.

The inventors have particularly realized that a shift always occurs when the item of clothing does not move with the skin, i.e. when the item of clothing stretches differently than the underlying skin upon occurring tensile, thrust, or shearing forces. The fundamentally new concept, of guaranteeing by way of the third textile area and its isolating arrangement between the first and second textile area, that the first textile area, which may receive a sensor, substantially moves with the skin and thus delivers signals continuously, underlies embodiments of the present disclosure. Due to the isolation from the second textile area, the first textile area substantially experiences the same tensile, thrust, and shearing forces as the underlying skin and deforms in the same or a similar way. Thus, a shifting of the sensor is reduced or avoided.

The item of clothing may permit measurement of physiological data during natural motion sequences, without there being a constant “loss” of the measuring signal. It is particularly important for real-time measurements that the measuring signal is not constantly lost, because the fixture of the sensor cannot be constantly monitored and corrected. For example, an athlete of a sport equipped with an item of clothing does not need to leave the playing field in order to correct the position of a sensor. Even in relatively “rough” sports such as rugby, the fixture of the sensor is guaranteed.

In principal, there are many possibilities for the design of the third textile area to realize the new concepts disclosed here.

According to a first embodiment, a material processed within the third textile area may be more easily stretchable than a material processed within the first textile area.

“More easily stretchable” means that at least a section of the third textile area experiences a greater length variation or stretching upon application of forces that typically occur when wearing an item of clothing, than a comparable section of the first textile area or the second textile area. This can be achieved through different laminations, knitting, weaving or webbing patterns, fibers, material thicknesses or densities that differ in the first, second, and third textile areas.

Because the third textile area has a more stretchable material than the first and second textile areas, the tensile force occurring between the first and second textile areas is reduced and a shifting of the sensor in the first or second textile areas may be reduced or avoided. Simultaneously, the material processed in the first and second textile area can be less easily stretchable, in order to fix the sensor.

For example, the third textile area can have a smaller elasticity module than the first and second textile area. The elasticity module of a material indicates how far the material stretches under tensile force. Generally the elasticity module is defined as a quotient of the tensile force and the material expansion, i.e. a smaller elasticity module means that less tensile force is required for the same material expansion. In some embodiments, the third textile area has an elasticity module of ⅓ to ½ of the elasticity module of the first or second textile area, i.e. it can stretch up to two or three times the length of the first or second textile area under the same textile force.

Another embodiment of the implementation of the third textile areas provides that the third textile area comprises an uneven structure. The third textile area may include at least a portion that does not lie close to the skin everywhere. The third textile area can, for instance, have folds (pleats) that are at right angles to the arising tensile force, which unfold through a tensile force occurring between a first and second textile area, i.e. are pulled straight. As a result of the folds, the third textile area comprises a sufficient fabric reserve to minimize tensile forces on the areas through elongation or stretching and to isolate the first and second textile area. A fine, unfolding, crimped surface structure of the third textile area is also contemplated. The uneven structure may result from pressing, stitching, forming or other suitable methods.

Another embodiment of the implementation of the third textile area provides that the third textile area may be distanced further away from the skin of the wearer of the item of clothing than the first or second textile areas. The first and second textile areas may, for instance, be close-fittingly cut to the wearer's body, while the third textile area may have a different cut. As a result, the third textile area may have a sufficient fabric reserve in order to minimize tensile forces occurring as a result of elongation or stretching and to isolate the first and second textile areas. Simultaneously, the first or second textile area lies sufficiently close to the skin of the wearer, in order to secure the contact of the sensor with the skin for instance and the second textile are lies closely enough, in order to ensure an appropriate fit of the item of clothing.

Another embodiment of the implementation of the third textile area provides that the third textile area has a substantially different mechanical preliminary tension than the first and or the second textile area. The mechanical preliminary tensions may differ such that upon the motion of the wearer of the item of clothing, a sensor arranged in the first or second textile area is able to measure signals without interruption.

For example the third textile area can have a lower mechanical preliminary tension than the first and second textile areas. In this manner the third textile area can deform more easily, when tensile stresses occur between the first and the second textile areas while the item of clothing is worn. Occurring tensile forces can thus be minimized through an elongation or stretching of the third textile area, so the first and second areas are isolated.

A low mechanical preliminary tension of the third textile area can be achieved when the third textile area is connected to another area or areas by stretching the first, second, or both textile areas by means of tensile stress. The third textile area may be connected to the first and or the second textile areas by sewing, stapling, adhering, or otherwise joining the areas. In this manner, the third textile area may have a lower mechanical preliminary tension than the first and or second textile area.

The above described alternative embodiments show that there are many possibilities for implementing the third textile area. Multiple possibilities have in common that the provision of a third textile area and its isolating arrangement between the first and second textile areas ensures that the first and second textile areas, which can receive a sensor, move with the skin. In this manner, a shifting of the sensor is reduced or avoided. For example, it may be guaranteed that a heart rate electrode remains in contact with the area of the skin in which electrical surface voltages brought about by the heard can be measured.

Naturally, a combination of the different approaches explained by way of example as well as other approaches to isolate the first and second area through a correspondingly implemented third area is contemplated.

In an embodiment of the invention, the third textile area has an elongated section substantially along the direction of greatest stretching when the item of clothing is worn. The forces occurring between the first and second textile area may then be effectively isolated.

The sensor can for instance be a skin electrode for measuring electrical voltages on the skin, as are used for measuring heart rate or for an ECG. The sensor can also be meander-shaped electrical conductors for measuring respiration, which can be arranged as described above. Also, the sensor can be a magnetometer which is able to measure a magnetic field or fields. The sensor may include other types of sensors suitable for measuring data of a wearer of the item of clothing, including physiological data. In addition, multiple sensors may be included in one or more textile areas of the item of clothing.

The sensor may be designed to measure signals from an organ, such as the skin, the heart, or the lung of a wearer of the item of clothing. The organ may also include a body region such as the thorax, the abdomen, or a limb such as a leg or an arm. Other organs, whose physiological data can be measured by a sensor, are also contemplated.

In some embodiments, the third textile area is arranged between the first and second textile areas such that the first and the second textile areas do not abut or touch. However, this is not strictly necessary and in other embodiments at least a portion of the first and second textile areas my abut or touch. For example, the third textile area can be a circumferential insert in the substantial shape of a cylindrical surface. This insert can, for example, surround a body part such as the arm or the armpit when wearing the item of clothing. As a result of the fact that the first and the second area do not abut, both areas may be entirely isolated from each other by the third textile area and the risk of a shifting of the sensor is further reduced or avoided.

In some embodiments, the item of clothing is an item of clothing for the upper part of the body, wherein the first textile area is a trunk area and wherein the second textile area is sleeve area. The item of clothing can be a T-shirt for example, as is worn in many kinds of sports, e.g., football, tennis or running. In some embodiments, the item of clothing may have sleeves that do not extend past the elbow. As a result of the fact that the item of clothing comprises sleeves, which are isolated from the trunk area through the third textile area from a force point of view, it can be worn visibly as a single item of clothing. The wearer does not need to wear the item of clothing provided with a sensor as an additional sleeveless undershirt under the actual clothing. Embodiments of the item of clothing create the possibility to provide a plethora of items of clothing for different sports, different seasons such as summer and winter, or indoor sports and outdoor sports with sensors for the first time, without there being an excessive risk of the sensors shifting.

In other embodiments, the third textile area is a circumferential sleeve portion. For example, it can be a sleeve portion in the shape of a cylindrical or oval surface, which may be arranged in the proximity a portion of the arm, such as the armpit or elbow. Thus, even in a long-sleeved item of clothing, such as a winter jersey, the sleeve is hereby optimally isolated from the trunk area of the item of clothing.

In an embodiment of the item of clothing, the first textile area comprises a pocket, flap, compartment, or clip or similar area for receiving the sensor. The sensor may be attached to or carried by the item of clothing. In another embodiment, the sensor may be detachable so that it is not damaged when washing the item of clothing, but may be attached so it is positioned near the organ or area to be measured. The sensor may be exchangeable, semi-permanently or permanently attached to the item of clothing.

Alternatively, the sensor may be sewn, woven, knitted or glued into the item of clothing, including but not limited to the first textile area. If it is a sensor that is able to survive the cleaning of the item of clothing without damage, then this type of affixation is a simple manipulation of the item of clothing, because the item of clothing can be worn without the wearer worrying about the fixation of the sensor. Also a sensor that is sewn, woven, knitted or glued in will not shift within the item of clothing, including the first textile area. In this manner, the sensor cannot be positioned incorrectly.

In some embodiments, the third textile area may be a fabric. Some fabrics have the advantage that their elasticity, e.g., expressed by means of its elasticity module, can easily be controlled based on the weaving techniques or the yarn used.

In some embodiments, the first and second textile areas include the same material. The item of clothing hereby receives a substantially uniform appearance. For example, in a long-sleeved shirt, the sleeve, except for the third textile area arranged in the proximity of the armpit, can be made of the same material as the trunk area. In some embodiments, the first and second textile areas include different material. In some embodiments the first textile area, second textile area, and/or third textile may include one or more ways to modify the stretch properties of each area. This may include applying bands (e.g., thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) bands), stitching lines or prints, incorporating patterns of different materials attached to one or more areas, and/or other similar methods.

In some embodiments, the third textile area may comprise two different elasticity modules in two directions that are different from one another. In some embodiments, the two different elasticity modules may be oriented such that the direction of the lower elasticity module is substantially parallel to the direction in which the greatest mechanical tension occurs when wearing the item of clothing In this orientation of the third textile area, the third textile area can most easily stretch upon the occurrence of tensile forces, in order to reduce or avoid a shifting of the sensor in the first textile area.

In some embodiments, the item of clothing is designed to arrange the sensor such that it is positioned on or proximate a side of the torso of a wearer of the item of clothing. For example, in this positioning the heartbeat of the wearer of the item of clothing can be easily measured for instance.

In some embodiments, the sensor can be a heart rate electrode, which is arranged in a lateral chest area. In some embodiments, two heart rate electrodes are arranged on opposite lateral chest areas. The item of clothing may include multiple sensors positioned in different portion of the same or different textile areas.

In another embodiment of the invention, the item of clothing is designed to arrange the sensor circumferentially so that it at least partially runs around the torso of the wearer of the item of clothing when the item of clothing is worn. For example, it can be a meander-shaped electrical conductor, which is used to measure respiration as described above, in that the alteration of the chest and/or abdomen circumference is measured.

A further embodiment of the present invention concerns a method for manufacturing an item of clothing, wherein the method comprises the following steps: a. obtaining the stretching pattern of the skin of a subject who could wear the item of clothing during at least one specific motion; and b. manufacturing the item of clothing, wherein the item of clothing exhibits a substantially similar stretching pattern to the stretching pattern of the skin during the specific motion of the subject and the item of clothing may be suitable to receive a sensor.

The specific motion of the wearer may be a specific motion of an activity or sport. For example, the wearer can perform a throw-in during football as a specific motion, or the hitting of the hall in tennis. In this manner, an item of clothing can be manufactured that is adapted to a specific activity or sport, which guarantees a reduced shifting of a sensor provided in said item of clothing, when performing the activity or sport. The item of clothing may be adapted to be configured to position a sensor over time and after multiple or continuous movements.

The stretching pattern of the item of clothing may be so similar to the stretching pattern of the skin that a sensor provided in the item of clothing, such as a heart rate electrode, remains substantially fixed relative to an area of a subjacent organ of a wearer of the item of clothing during a motion of the wearer of the item of clothing. This means that the sensor does not shift during the specific motions of the wearer such that a measurement is no longer possible.

The method according to an embodiment of the disclosure permits the manufacture of an item of clothing, which is suitable to receive a sensor and thus enables a measurement of physiological data of a wearer of the item of clothing in real-time during natural motion sequences, without there being a constant “loss” of the measuring signal. For example, an athlete of a sport equipped with an item of clothing according to an embodiment of the invention does not need to leave the playing field in order to correct the position of a sensor. Even in relatively “rough” sports such as rugby, the fixture of the sensor is guaranteed. An item of clothing manufactured in accordance with the method according to an embodiment of the invention on the one hand permits a good measuring signal of a provided sensor in a state of rest of a wearer of the item of clothing (e.g., sports clothing). On the other hand, a constant “loss” of the signal during motions of the wearer, e.g., during sport, is reduced or avoided.

In an embodiment of the method, step b. is designed such that the stretching pattern of the item of clothing is provided such that when wearing the item of clothing a sensor received by said item of clothing is substantially fixed in relation to an area of a subjacent organ of a wearer of the item of clothing.

It some embodiments the organ is the skin, the heart, the lung, the thorax or the abdomen of a wearer of the item of clothing. An organ is understood to also mean a body part such as the thorax or the abdomen, but for example also a limb such as a leg or an arm.

It some embodiments the method comprises the step: creating or attaching a mounting for a sensor to the item of clothing. A mount can for example be a pocket, hook, catch, compartment, or clip.

In some embodiments the method comprises the step: attaching a sensor to the item of clothing. For example the sensor can be sewn, woven, knitted, affixed, pinned, or glued into the item of clothing. However, the sensor can also be placed in a pocket of the item of clothing or be fixed to the item of clothing by means of a dip or similar attachment means.

In some embodiments of the method the mounting and/or the sensor are arranged in a less stretchable area as compared to other areas of the stretching pattern of the item of clothing. In this manner sensor shift can be better avoided during the specific motions of the wearer and reduce the chance that measuring is no longer possible.

In some embodiments of the method, a specific textile area is incorporated in an area of great stretching in comparison to other areas of the item of clothing based on the stretching pattern of the item of clothing. Mechanical tensions between different areas of the item of clothing are hereby reduced and in particular it is ensured that a sensor provided in the item of clothing (e.g., sports clothing) moves with the skin.

In some embodiments of the method, obtaining the stretching pattern takes place in step a, by means of an optical method. For example, reference points can be applied on the skin, the relative change in distance of which is optically recorded during specific motions in order to determine the stretching pattern.

In some embodiments, step b. of the method further comprises: forming at least two textile areas of the item of clothing with different stretching behaviors. For example, a textile area of the item of clothing that exhibits great elasticity can be provided in an area of where the skin stretches more during an activity or sport. In an area where the skin stretches less, a textile area can be provided that exhibits a correspondingly lower elasticity. In this manner, the stretching pattern of the item of clothing can be adapted to or configured to the stretching pattern of the skin.

A further aspect of an embodiment of the present invention relates to an item of clothing which was manufactured pursuant to the above described method.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

In the following detailed description, currently embodiments of the item of clothing according to the invention are described with reference to the following figures:

FIG. 1: A schematic representation of a first embodiment of the present invention, in which the item of clothing according to the invention is an item of clothing for the upper part of the body;

FIG. 2: A schematic representation of a motion of the item of clothing as in the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3: A schematic representation of an alternative embodiment of the item of clothing according to an embodiment of the invention with a fold-like structure;

FIG. 4: A schematic representation of a further alternative embodiment of the item of clothing according to the invention comprising a third textile area that is distanced further away from the skin of a wearer of the item of clothing;

FIG. 5: A schematic representation of a further embodiment of the item of clothing according to the invention comprising first and second textile areas that touch each other;

FIG. 6: A schematic representation of a further embodiment of the item of clothing according to the invention comprising two different elasticity modules;

FIG. 7: A representation of a farther embodiment of the item of clothing according to the invention, in which the item of clothing is designed to arrange the sensor around the thorax of a wearer circumferentially;

FIG. 8: A representation of a further embodiment of the item of clothing according to the invention, in which the item of clothing comprises a circumferential third textile area and an electrical conductor that is connected to the sensor;

FIG. 9: An embodiment of the item of clothing according to the invention with a third textile area comprising two sections and a measurement data processing device;

FIG. 10: A detailed representation of a section of a third textile area according to the embodiment of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11: An illustration of a partial aspect of the performance of a method according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 12: An illustration of a partial aspect of the performance of a method according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 13: A detailed representation of a section of a third textile area in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 14: A detailed representation of a section of a third textile area with a slot in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 15: A partial view of an alternative embodiment of an item of clothing according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 16: A partial view of an alternative embodiment of an item of clothing according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 17: A representation with regard to locating an area of optimal position of a sensor according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 18: An illustration of an aspect of locating an area of optimal position of a sensor according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 19: An illustration of an aspect of locating an area of optimal position of a sensor for two different types of sport according to an embodiment of the invention;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In the following, embodiments of the present invention are described with reference to an item of clothing as well as a method.

FIG. 1 shows a schematic representation of an item of clothing 1 according to a first aspect of an embodiment of the present invention. In the embodiment of FIG. 1 the item of clothing 1 is shown as a long-sleeved item of clothing for the upper part of the body, for example a football jersey for winter. In some embodiments, the item of clothing can also be a short-sleeved shirt, for example a summer jersey, a miming shirt, an undershirt, a vest, trousers, thus any item of clothing. In some embodiments, the item of clothing is functional clothing for sporting activities such as football or basketball. For other embodiments, the item of clothing is functional for ambulatory activities.

The item of clothing may be manufactured out of a textile fabric. The fabric can be a woven fabric, an interlaced yarn, a knitted fabric, a fleece, or any other kind of fabric.

The item of clothing 1 shown in FIG. 1 has a first textile area 2, which is suitable to receive at least one sensor. The first textile area 2 is manufactured from a textile fabric, as described above. In the item of clothing 1 in FIG. 1 the first textile area is the trunk area of the item of clothing for the upper part of the body shown. In a different item of clothing according to an embodiment of the invention, for example a pair of trousers, the first textile area could be the thigh area for example.

The first textile area may be adapted to or configured to receive at least one sensor (not shown in FIG. 1). The sensor can, for example, be received through a mount (not shown in FIG. 1) in the form of a pocket or a clip or other different means for fixing or carrying the sensor. Other forms of mounts, such as hook and loop fasteners, press studs or lace fastenings are contemplated. If the sensor requires contact with the skin, then the mounting can be arranged on the inside, i.e. the side facing the body of the item of clothing that is worn the correct way around. In such a case the mount permits the contact of the sensor to the skin, for example through one or more holes.

The first textile area 2 can also receive the sensor permanently, i.e. in a non-removable manner. For example, the sensor can be sewn, woven, knitted or glued into the first textile area. Alternatively, the sensor may be non-permanently attached to the item of clothing

The item of clothing 1 shown in FIG. 1 further comprises a second textile area. The second textile area 3 is also manufactured out of a textile fabric, as described above. This can be the same material as that of the first textile area 2. The second textile area 3 in FIG. 1 is a sleeve-area of the item of clothing for the upper part of the body of FIG. 1. In a different item of clothing according to an embodiment of the invention, for example a pair of trousers, the second textile area could be the lower leg area for example.

Furthermore, the item of clothing 1 shown in FIG. 1 comprises a third textile area 4. Also this third textile area 4 is manufactured out of a textile fabric, as described above. This can be a different textile fabric as that of the first and second textile areas. In one embodiment, all there textile areas may be made of different materials. The third textile area 4 shown in FIG. 1 has the shape of a circumferential sleeve portion, i.e. it runs once around the arm of the wearer of the item of clothing 1. For example, the sleeve portion 4 can be a substantially in the shape of a cylindrical surface. For example, the seams of the trunk and the sleeves of the T-shirt can be shortened in order to create space for the third textile area, so that the sleeve has the same length as before the third textile area is inserted.

The third textile area 4 may be provided such that it isolates relative motions between the first and second textile area when the item of clothing is worn, so that a sensor received by the first textile area remains substantially fixed in relation to an area of a subjacent organ of the wearer of the item of clothing.

For example, the sensor can remain substantially fixed to an area of the subjacent skin. This is particularly advantageous for heart rate electrodes, which require a transition resistance between the skin and the electrode that is as low as possible. Depending on the use, the sensor can in addition or alternatively remain substantially fixed in relation to an organ, e.g., the heart or the lung.

If the organ is the skin, for instance, then it is sufficient if the sensor remains substantially fixed to an area of the skin, which is immediately associated with the sensor. For example, it can be an area of skin that can have a diameter of several centimeters, for example 10 centimeters, on which the sensor lies and in relation to which the sensor remains substantially fixed. For the sensor to be in a position to measure the heart beat it is irrelevant whether other areas of the skin, such as on the leg, move in relation to the sensor or not.

The function of the third textile area 4 is illustrated in FIG. 2, which schematically shows a motion of the item of clothing 1 from the embodiment out of FIG. 1. In FIG. 2 the item of clothing 1 is shown after the left arm of a wearer is raised. As a result of the provision and the arrangement of the third textile area 4 between the first textile area 2 and the second textile area 3 the motion of the second textile area 3 is substantially isolated from the first textile area 2. Since the first textile area receives the sensor (not shown in FIG. 2), the motion of the second area 3 is not passed on to the sensor. It remains substantially fixed to the subjacent skin of the wearer, i.e. the measurements it performs are not negatively influenced.

As shown in FIG. 2, the relative motion between the second textile area 3 and the first textile area 2 leads to a clear elongation or stretching of the third textile area 4. This elongation or stretching can be caused in that the third textile area is more easily stretchable than the first textile area.

For example, the first textile area can comprise a smaller elasticity module than the first textile area. It is known that the elasticity module of a material indicates how far the material stretches under a tensile force. Generally the elasticity module is defined as a quotient of the tensile force and the material expansion, i.e. a smaller elasticity module means that less tensile force is require for the same material expansion. In the embodiment of FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 this means that the third textile area 4 stretches considerably more than the first and the second textile areas.

A further possibility of favoring an elongation or stretching of the third textile area 4 upon the occurrence of tensile forces is shown in FIG. 3. Here, the third textile area comprises a fold-like structure 7. Such a structure could be a pleat, i.e. artificially created folds. Other structures are also contemplated, such as for example a crease fabric or a micro three dimensional structure. As shown in the embodiment of FIG. 3, these folds 7 can be arranged at right angles to the arising tensile force between the first and second textile area. In one embodiment, the folds 7 may be provided circumferentially (around the sleeve) for instance. In the event of a relative motion between the first and second textile areas, the folds 7 in the third textile area 4 are drawn-out, i.e. the third textile area is stretched. The folds 7 thus ensure that there is a sufficient fabric reserve of the third textile area 4 is provided for upon the occurrence of tensile forces, in order to effect an elongation or stretching.

A further possibility of favoring an elongation or stretching of the third textile area 4 upon the occurrence of tensile forces is shown in FIG. 4. Here the third textile area 4 is provided such that it is distanced further away from the skin of the wearer of the item of clothing than the first textile area when the item of clothing 1 is worn. In the embodiment of FIG. 4 the third textile area 4 below the armpits is distanced further away from the skin of the wearer (not shown in FIG. 4) than the first and second textile area. In this embodiment the third textile area 4 is arranged partially between the first and second textile area. Partially, namely below the armpits, the third textile area may not be arranged between the first and second textile area. As a result, the third textile area 4 has a sufficient fabric reserve in order to effect an elongation or stretching in the event of occurring tensile forces.

A further possibility of favoring an elongation or stretching of the third textile area 4 upon the occurrence of tensile forces occurs when the third textile area 4 has a different mechanical preliminary tension than the first and/or the second textile area. For example the third textile area 4 can have a lower mechanical preliminary tension than the first and second textile area. In this manner the third textile area 4 can deform more easily, when tensile stresses occur between the first and the second textile area while the item of clothing 1 is worn. Occurring tensile forces can thus be minimized through an elongation or stretching of the third textile area 4 and the first and second area are isolated.

Low mechanical preliminary tension of the third textile area 4 can be achieved when the third textile area is connected to another area or areas by stretching the first, second, or both textile areas by means of tensile stress. In this manner, the third textile area 4 may have a lower mechanical preliminary tension than the first and/or second textile area.

In some embodiments the third textile area 4 and its isolating arrangement between the first textile area 2 and the second textile area 3 ensure that the first textile area 2, which can receive a sensor, moves with the skin of the wearer of the item of clothing 1. In this manner, a shifting of the sensor is reduced or avoided, i.e. the sensor can continue to perform measurements without interruption and such measurements will be accurate. The above described embodiments can for example be combined. Other approaches to isolate the first and second area through a correspondingly implemented third area are also contemplated.

In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1 to 4 the first textile area 2 does not abut or contact the second textile area 3, i.e. the third textile area 4 divides these areas completely. Alternatively, the first and second textile area could be arranged so that they abut or contact, as shown in the embodiment of FIG. 5. Here the second textile area 3, in the form of a sleeve area, is drawn from the top side of the sleeve to the first textile area 2, in the form of a trunk area, i.e. both areas touch at the top side of the sleeve in the area of the shoulder. The third textile area 4 is arranged on the side and underneath the armpit between the sleeve area 3 and the trunk area 2 in the form of a sleeve portion 4. Since the greatest tensile forces occur under the armpit between the sleeve area 3 and trunk area 2, for instance during the raising motion of the arm, this arrangement of the sleeve portion 4 fulfills just as good an isolation function, like in the embodiments of FIGS. 1 to 4. In some embodiments the length of one portion of the third textile area 4 may be greater than the length of another portion of the third textile area 4.

In the embodiment of FIG. 6 the third textile area 4 comprises two different elasticity modules E1 and E2 in two directions that are different from one another. In some embodiments the two directions are oriented such that the direction of the smaller elasticity module E1 is substantially parallel to the direction in which the greatest mechanical tension F occurs when wearing the item of clothing 1.

Textile materials with different elasticity modules in two directions that are different from one another can be woven fabric, for example. Woven fabrics are made from generally perpendicular warp and weft threads. Varying thicknesses and densities of warp and weft threads and the type of interweaving can cause elasticity modules that distinctly differ from one another in the direction of the warp thread and the direction of the weft thread. In addition, other methods may result in fabrics different elasticity modules.

In the embodiment of FIG. 6 the third textile area 4 is arranged on the item of clothing 1 such that the direction of the smallest elasticity module E1 is substantially parallel to the direction in which the greatest mechanical tension F occurs when wearing the item of clothing.

In the example of the item of clothing for the upper part of the body of FIG. 6, the greatest mechanical tension F may occur at the underside of the armpit, e.g., when lifting the arm up and is directed towards the trunk area 2 from the sleeve area 2. Correspondingly, the direction of the smallest elasticity module E1 is arranged substantially parallel to the direction of this mechanical tension F. In this manner a stretching of the third textile area upon occurrence of tensile stress is further favored and a shifting of the sensor is reduced or avoided.

FIG. 7 shows a further embodiment of the present invention, in which the item of clothing 1 is designed to arrange a sensor 5 circumferentially so that it at least partially runs around the torso of the wearer of the item of clothing 1 when the item of clothing is worn. For example, it can be a meander-shaped electrical conductor, which is used to measure respiration. For measuring respiration the sensor 5, for example, has meander-shaped electrical conductors which respectively represent an electrical coil and can be connected to an electrical oscillator. Due to the respiratory motions the circumference of the chest and abdomen alter and thus the length of the conductors, the inductance of the coils and finally the oscillation frequency. The alteration of the oscillation frequency can be evaluated and permits conclusions to be made with regard to the respiratory motions. In other embodiments, one or more magnetometers may be positioned in the wearer's torso area including the front, back, side, or one or more of these.

FIG. 8 shows a representation of another embodiment of the item of clothing 1 according to an embodiment of the invention, in which the item of clothing 1 comprises a circumferential third textile area 4 and an electrical conductor 6 that is connected to the sensor 5. The electrical conductor can, for example, lead to a measurement data processing device, which is arranged at the item of clothing 1 and processes or stores or wirelessly transmits the data measured by sensor 5 to a receiver. The measurement data processing device may be attached to or carried by the item of clothing. Or the measurement data processing device may be separate from the item of clothing.

FIG. 9 shows a further embodiment of the item of clothing 1 according to an embodiment of the invention with a third textile area 4 comprising two sections 4a and 4b and a measurement data processing device 7. The third textile area 4 comprises a section 4a surrounding the arm in the shoulder area and a longitudinal section 4b that extends from the lateral thorax area under the armpit to the upper arm area. Furthermore, an area 8 may be an appropriate position for the sensor as shown in FIG. 9. If the sensor, which in this embodiment may be a heart rate electrode, is positioned in this area, then it is able to measure the heart rate of a wearer of the item of clothing 1. The measurement data processing device 7 is connected to the heart rate electrode by means of an electrical conductor 6. This conductor can be flexible and exhibit a similar stretch behavior to the textile area in which it is arranged.

FIG. 10 shows a detailed representation of a section 4b of a third textile area 4 according to the embodiment of FIG. 9. The section 4b is elongated and has a tapered shape. As a result of this cut, an appropriate isolation of the first and second area is possible. The shape of third textile area 4 may be based on the measured stretch of the skin based on skin stretch percentage or a measure of skin elongation. The shape or pattern of third textile area 4, a sub-section of third textile area 4, or any other area of the item of clothing may be based on an area where the skin stretches more or less. In some embodiments, third textile area 4 may correspond to an area where the skin stretches more than a particular percentage (e.g., 15%, 20%, 25%, and/or 30%).

FIG. 11 shows an illustration of a partial aspect of the performance of the method according to an embodiment. Here, the stretching pattern of the skin of a wearer, namely an athlete, was recorded during a sport-specific motion, namely a throw-in during football, by means of an optical method. In this Figure, the stretching of the skin is shown as a relative stretching compared to the skin's state of rest, for instance during upright casual standing with hanging arms. Thus, a relative stretching of 100% in a specific area of the skin means that the skin in this area has stretched to twice its length. A stretching of 30% would, for example, mean that a previously 1 cm long piece of skin has stretched to a length of 1.3 cm. In a similar manner, the stretching pattern of the skin may be determined for stationary or ambulatory monitoring of patients.

As shown in FIG. 11, the greatest stretching of 25% to 60% occurs in area 9. In area 10 a stretching of 20% to 25% is reflected. In area 11, a stretching of 10% to 20% and in area 12, a stretching of 0% to 10% is reflected. As shown in FIG. 11, during a throw-in, the greatest stretching of the skin occurs below the armpit between the mid-lateral thorax area and mid-lateral back area.

After the stretching pattern shown as an example in FIG. 11 was recorded, an item of clothing is manufactured in accordance with the method according to an embodiment of the invention, wherein the item of clothing exhibits a substantially similar stretching pattern to the stretching pattern of the skin when worn.

The stretching pattern of the item of clothing is similar to the stretching pattern of the skin so that a sensor received by the item of clothing, such as a heart rate electrode for instance, remains substantially fixed to an area of a subjacent organ of the wearer of the item of clothing during the specific motions of a wearer of the item of clothing. This means that the sensor does not shift during the specific motions of the wearer such that measuring is no longer possible.

The method according to an embodiment of the invention permits the manufacture of an item of clothing, which is suitable to receive a sensor and thus permits a measurement of physiological data of a wearer of the item of clothing in real-time during natural motion sequences, without there being a constant “loss” of the measuring signal. For example, in accordance with the method according to an embodiment of the invention the item of clothing can be adapted for a specific type of sport or a group of sports, in that when recording the stretching pattern of the skin at least one motion specific to the sport is performed.

An athlete of a field sport, for example, who wears an item of clothing manufactured in accordance with the method according to an embodiment of the invention, does not need to leave the sports field, in order to correct the position of the sensor. Even in relatively “rough” sports such as rugby, the fixture of the sensor is guaranteed.

FIG. 12 shows an illustration of a partial aspect of the performance of the method according to an embodiment of the invention. In this Figure, the stretching of an item of clothing according to an embodiment of the invention is shown. The stretching of the item of clothing (e.g., sports clothing) was measured here using the same method as the stretching of the skin in FIG. 11. The areas of different stretching correspond to those in FIG. 11. The least stretching, between 0% and 10%, occurs in area 12. This area may be best suited for the positioning of the sensor, because the sensor and/or the stretchable electric feed for the sensor will shift the least or not at all in this area during a sport-specific motion, such as a throw-in. The sensor and/or the stretchable electric feed can also be positioned in area 11, which exhibits a stretching of 10% to 20%. In some embodiments it is advantageous to position the sensor in an area where the stretching of the item of clothing corresponds to the stretching of the skin during a motion or activity and to position the sensor in an area of lower stretching to minimize the risk of shifting of the sensor.

In some embodiments, a stretchable electric feed for the sensor has the same stretching behavior, e.g., expressed by means of an elasticity module, as the area of the item of clothing in which the stretchable electric feed is attached.

The stretching scale, shown in FIGS. 11 and 12, ranges from 0% to 30%. However, stretching beyond 30% also occurs in the areas 9 shown in FIGS. 11 and 12, for example 60%. In the explanation of FIGS. 11 and 12, the stretching was divided into four areas, namely 12: 25% to 60%, 11: 20% to 25%, 10: 10% to 20% and 9: 0% to 10%. Other divisions, grosser or finer, are possible of course. Likewise, the stretching scale can be adapted to larger or smaller maximum occurring stretches, depending on e.g., sport-specific motion or sport.

FIG. 13 shows a detailed representation of a section 4b of a third textile area according to an embodiment. In section 4b, the third textile area has an elasticity of more than 30%, and in some embodiments more than 60%. In some embodiments, section 4b may be shaped for a particular sport (e.g., soccer or basketball). In some embodiments, section 4b may be shaped for a particular movement. In some embodiments, section 4b may be shaped for one particular sport and/or movement. In other embodiments, section 4b may be shaped for multiple sports and/or movements.

FIG. 14 shows a detailed representation of a section 4b of a third textile area with a slot 13 according to an embodiment. The slot in the third textile area can additionally favor the isolation between the first and second textile area, in that it prevents or reduces the raising of the first textile area, e.g., during a throw-in during football. In some embodiments this slot may decouple one textile area from another textile area. For example, the slot may decouple section 4b of the third textile area from the first textile area. The slot may also decouple three or more areas of the item of clothing. In some embodiments the slot may isolate one textile area from another textile area. In some embodiments the slot may decouple or isolate the textile areas based on its size and/or based on its position.

FIG. 15 shows a partial view of an alternative embodiment of an item of clothing according to an embodiment of the invention. Compared to the previous embodiments, this embodiment has a different cut, particularly in the third area.

FIG. 16 shows a partial view of an alternative embodiment of an item of clothing according to an embodiment of the invention, which is suitable for the sport of basketball. Here, a part of the third textile area 4 is positioned below the armpit in the shape of a diamond. In some embodiments, this shape may be suitable for a specific sport, such as basketball. In some embodiments, this shape may be suitable for a specific movement or movements.

In certain embodiments, it is important that a sensor received by the item of clothing is positioned as optimally as possible. The method described here provides one way to determine the appropriate position of the sensor.

The method concerns the determination of an area for possible positions of a sensor on an item of clothing, wherein the sensor is suitable to measure physiological data of a wearer of the item of clothing and wherein the method comprises the steps: a. putting on the item of clothing by a first wearer; b. marking areas of possible positions of the sensor on the item of clothing specific to the first wearer; c. repeating steps a and b for at least a second wearer; and d. determining an overlapping area(s) for possible positions of the sensor or sensors for the first and second wearer.

The overlapping area can be determined directly, but also indirectly, for example by means of a reverse conclusion of the examination of all areas, in which the possible sensor positions of the first and second wearer do not overlap. The overlapping area can also be determined in that the area specific for the second wearer is only determined within the specific area for the first wearer. Correspondingly, the area specific for a third wearer would only be determined within the specific area for the second wearer, and so on. In this manner, the overlapping area may be continuously narrowed.

The method ensures that the sensor or a mount therefore is positioned as optimally as possible on the item of clothing, to compensate for a slight shift. Generally, items of clothing are offered in different sizes, for example S (for “small”), M (for “medium”), L (for “large”) and XL (for “extra large”), if necessary with increments to smaller and larger sizes. Generally items made-to-measure are not particularly found in the leisure and sports sector, but are also possible there—e.g., in high-performance sport. For this reason, one specific size should fit as large a number of different wearer-anatomies as possible. As is known people who share the same clothing sizes do not share the same anatomy, but rather there are great differences, for instance with regard to the circumference, the arm and leg length, shoulder and hip width, and so on.

The method permits the determination of an area on the item of clothing, which is optimal for the positioning of the sensor for a plurality of different wearer anatomies. In some embodiments, this area is the overlapping area determined by the method. As a result, the sensor or a mount is positioned on the item of clothing such that it lays upon the organ to be measured in a large a number of different wearers in a manner that a measurement of physiological data of said organ is possible. As a result of this positioning a slight shift can be tolerated since the sensor sill lies within the optimal area determined by means of the method. If the sensor were already positioned in an area that was not optimal for the measurement, for instance positioned at a peripheral area of the organ, immediately after the item of clothing is put on, thus prior to any activity, then a slight shift could lead to the sensor distancing itself too far away from the optimal are. A measurement would then no longer be possible. The item of clothing and method of embodiments of the present invention fix and prevent these problems.

In an embodiment, the method further comprises the step of applying a reference mark on the item of clothing. In some embodiments, this occurs prior to the step of putting on the item of clothing by a first wearer. However, in some embodiments it is equally possible not to apply the reference mark until after step of putting on the item of clothing by a first wearer. A reference mark permits the comparison between the specific areas of possible positions of the sensor for different wearers in an easy manner. The electronic measurement and processing in the course of the method are facilitated by means of a reference mark.

The reference mark may include a grid. This facilitates the measurement of the specific areas of possible positions of the sensor for different wearers, in that the coordinates of the areas can be determined relative to the grid. The reference mark may include other identifying shapes, designs, or further markings.

FIG. 17 shows a representation regarding the finding of an area of optimal position of a sensor. In FIG. 17 a grid is shown as a reference mark. Furthermore, the optimal area for the sensor on the item of clothing was determined for the current wearer and correspondingly marked on the item of clothing. This lies between the underside of the chest muscle (musculus pectoralis major) and the bottom edge of the ribcage, e.g., in the region of the costal arch (arcus costalis). This position permits, on the one hand, a good measuring signal of the sensor in a state of rest of a wearer of the item of clothing. On the other hand, a “loss” of the signal during motions, e.g., during sport, of the wearer are reduced or avoided.

In some embodiments, the method comprises electronic recording of the specific areas of possible positions of the sensor of the first and second wearers with regard to the reference mark. An electronic recording permits a simple electronic processing and evaluation in the course of the method.

In some embodiments, the method comprises superimposing the specific areas of possible positions of the sensor of the at least two wearers using the reference mark. Through superimposing the specific areas of possible positions of the sensor of different wearers, the overlapping area can easily be determined as an intersection. However, other methods of direct and indirect determination of the overlapping area are also possible.

In an embodiment of the method, the specific areas of possible positions of the sensor for the first and second wearer are limited by an underside of a chest muscle (musculus pectoralis major) and a bottom edge of the ribcage, e.g., in the region of the costal arch (arcus costalis). Such a limited area is an area that is relevant for the determination of the heartbeat, i.e. a sensor that is suitable for measuring a heartbeat, an electrode for instance, should be positioned in this area.

In an embodiment of the method, the first and second wearers are respectively athletes of different type of sport. It is hereby guaranteed that the position of the sensor is optimal during the performance of different types of sport, such as football and basketball, and that a slight shift of the sensor can be tolerated.

FIG. 18 shows an illustration of this aspect of the described method for finding an area of optimal position of a sensor according to an embodiment of the present invention. The optimal areas for different average football players is shown on the left hand side, while the optimal areas for different average basketball players is Shown on the right hand side. From the different optimal areas of the football players results the overlapping area 14, which is optimal for a large proportion of football players, if the football players used for the performance of the method correspond to the average population and/or buyer. The same applies for the overlapping area 15 on the right hand side for the average basketball players.

FIG. 19 shows an illustration of an aspect of the finding of an area of optimal position of a sensor for two different types of sport. In this Figure, the areas 14 and 15 of FIG. 18 have been overlapped so that an area 16 results, in which the sensor is positioned optimally for both football as well as basketball.

In a further embodiment of the method, the specific area for the first or second wearer comprises all positions in which the sensor is able to measure physiological data of the first or second wearer.

A further aspect of embodiments of the present invention concerns an item of clothing with at least one mounting device for a sensor, wherein the position of the mounting device for the sensor in the item of clothing has been determined by means of a method, which comprises the determination of an area of possible positions of the sensor on the item of clothing according to the above described method. The mounting device, for example a pocket, hook, catch, compartment, or clip, fixes or attaches the sensor on the item of clothing and thus determines its position on the item of clothing. The position of the sensor and thus the position of the mounting device is determined in accordance with the above described method, so that the position of the sensor and thus that of the mounting device is optimal for a plurality of different wearer-anatomies and so that a slight shift of the sensor can be tolerated, without the measurement performed by means of the sensor is negatively influenced. As a result, the items of clothing according to an embodiment of the invention differ even from items of clothing for receiving sensors that are previously known from the prior art.

A further aspect of an embodiment of the present invention concerns an item of clothing comprising at least one sensor, wherein the position of the sensor in the item of clothing was determined by a method, which comprises the determination of an area of possible positions of the sensor on the item of clothing in accordance with the above described method. It is hereby guaranteed that the position of the sensor is optimal for a plurality of different wearer-anatomies and that a slight shift of the sensor can be tolerated, without the measurement performed by means of the sensor is negatively influenced. It also applies here that the position determination by means of using the method according to an embodiment of the invention significantly determines the measurement accuracy and the reliability of the sensor function of the item of clothing according to an embodiment of the invention.

In some embodiments, the item of clothing may be adapted to receive multiple sensors. The item of clothing may include multiple sensors that are attached to or carried by the item of clothing. In some embodiments one of the textile areas, such as the first textile area, may include a plurality of sensors. These sensors may include a plurality of the same type of sensors or a plurality of different types of sensors. In some embodiments, the plurality of sensors may include a heart rate sensor and a meander-shaped electrical conductor.

In some embodiments, the item of clothing may include one or more textile areas made of a plurality of pieces. For example, the first textile area may include multiple pieces having different stretching properties. These multiple pieces may have stretch properties that correspond to the stretching of the skin in the area. For example, if the akin stretches 10% during a sport-specific motion or activity, the item of clothing may have a piece that stretches 10%. And each textile area may include multiple areas that are attached or joined together to create a composite area that has substantially similar stretch properties as the skin.

In one embodiments, the method concerns the determination of an area for possible positions of a sensor on an item of clothing, wherein the sensor is suitable to measure physiological data of a wearer of the item of clothing and wherein the method comprises the steps: a. putting on the item of clothing by a first wearer; b. marking areas of possible positions of the sensor on the item of clothing specific to the first wearer; c. having the first wearer perform one or more motions or activities; d. repeating steps a and b for at least a second wearer; and d. determining an overlapping area(s) for possible positions of the sensor based on the one or more motions or activities of the first wearer only or determining an overlapping area(s) for possible positions of the sensor based on the one or more motions or activities for the first and second wearer.

The overlapping area can be determined directly, but also indirectly, for example by a reverse conclusion of the examination of all areas, in which the possible sensor positions of the first and second wearer do not overlap. The overlapping area can also be determined in that the area specific for the second wearer is only determined within the specific area for the first wearer. Correspondingly, the area specific for a third wearer would only be determined within the specific area for the second wearer, and so on. In this manner, the overlapping area may be continuously narrowed.

In some embodiments, the stretching of the item of clothing in an area or areas may directly correspond to the stretching of the skin in the area or areas. In other embodiments, the stretching of the item of clothing in an area may substantially correspond to the stretching of the skin in the area or areas. For some embodiments, substantially corresponding may include the item of clothing having similar stretch properties within 5% of the stretching of the skin during one or more sport specific motions or activities. In other embodiments, substantially corresponding may include the item of clothing having similar stretch properties within 10%, 15%, 20%, or 25% of the stretching of the skin during one or more sport specific motions or activities.

The foregoing description of the specific embodiments will so fully reveal the general nature of the invention that others can, by applying knowledge within the skill of the art, readily modify and/or adapt for various applications such specific embodiments, without undue experimentation, without departing from the general concept of the present invention. Therefore, such adaptations and modifications are intended to be within the meaning and range of equivalents of the disclosed embodiments, based on the teaching and guidance presented herein. It is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation, such that the terminology or phraseology of the present specification is to be interpreted by the skilled artisan in light of the teachings and guidance.

The breadth and scope of the present invention should not be limited by any of the above-described exemplary embodiments, but should be defined only in accordance with the following claims and their equivalents.

Claims

1. An item of clothing comprising: wherein the third textile area is adapted to isolate relative motion between the first textile area and the second textile area, so that a sensor received by the first textile area would remain substantially fixed in relation to an area of a subjacent organ of a wearer of the item of clothing.

a first textile area adapted to receive at least one sensor;
a second textile area; and
a third textile area, which is arranged at least partially between the first and second textile areas,

2. The item of clothing according to claim 1, wherein the third textile area is more stretchable than the first textile area.

3. The item of clothing according to claim 1, wherein the third textile area comprises an uneven structure.

4. The item of clothing according to claim 1, wherein the third textile area is configured such when the item of clothing is worn the third textile area is spaced further away from the skin of the wearer than the first textile area.

5. The item of clothing according to claim 1, wherein the third textile area includes a substantially different mechanical preliminary tension than the first textile area and the second textile area.

6. The item of clothing according to claim 1, wherein the third textile area includes a longest portion positioned substantially along a direction of greatest stretching when the item of clothing is worn.

7. The item of clothing according to claim 1, wherein the organ is a portion of skin, a heart, a lung, a thorax, or an abdomen of the wearer.

8. The item of clothing according to claim 1, wherein the third textile area is arranged between the first textile area and second textile area such that the first textile area and second textile area are separated.

9. The item of clothing according to claim 1, wherein the item of clothing is adapted for an upper part of a body, and wherein the first textile area is a trunk area and wherein the second textile area is a sleeve area.

10. The item of clothing according to claim 1, wherein the third textile area is a circumferential sleeve piece.

11. The item of clothing according to claim 1, wherein the first textile area includes a pocket or a clip for receiving the sensor.

12. The item of clothing according to claim 1, wherein the sensor is attached to the first textile area.

13. The item of clothing according to claim 1, wherein the third textile area includes a fabric.

14. The item of clothing according to claim 1, wherein the first textile area and the second textile area include the same material.

15. The item of clothing according to claim 1, wherein the third textile area includes two different elasticity modules in two different directions that are oriented such that the direction of the smaller elasticity module is substantially parallel to the direction in which the greatest mechanical tension occurs when the item of clothing is worn.

16. The item of clothing according to claim 1, wherein the item of clothing is configured to position the sensor on a side of a torso of the wearer of the item of clothing when it is worn.

17. The item of clothing according to claim 1, wherein the item of clothing is configured to position the sensor at least partially around the torso of the wearer of the item of clothing.

18. The item of clothing according to claim 1, wherein the sensor is a textile sensor and the first textile area has a stretching behavior substantially similar to the skin of the wearer of the item of clothing.

19. An item of clothing according to claim 1, wherein the sensor is a heart rate electrode, and wherein the item of clothing is configured to arrange the sensor in a lateral chest area of the wearer of the item of clothing.

20. The item of clothing according to claim 1, wherein the sensor is a heart rate electrode, which communicates with a data transmission device.

21. A method for manufacturing an item of sports clothing comprising:

(a) obtaining a stretching pattern of at least a portion of skin of a wearer of the item of sports clothing during at least one sport-specific motion of the wearer;
(b) manufacturing the item of sports clothing, wherein the item of sports clothing exhibits a stretching pattern substantially similar to the stretching pattern of at least a portion of skin during the sport-specific motion of the wearer, and wherein the item of sports clothing is adapted to receive a sensor.

22. The method according to claim 21, wherein step (b) includes manufacturing the item of sports clothing such that the stretching pattern of the item of sports clothing is configured so a sensor would be substantially fixed in relation to an area of a subjacent organ of the wearer of the item of sports clothing.

23. The method according to claim 22, wherein the organ is the skin, a heart, a lung, a thorax, or an abdomen of the wearer of the item of sports clothing.

24. The method according to claim 21, wherein step (b) further includes attaching a mounting for a sensor to the item of sports clothing.

25. The method according to claim 21, wherein step (b) further includes attaching a sensor to the item of sports clothing.

26. The method according to claim 21, wherein step (b) further includes manufacturing the item of sport clothing such that a first portion is less stretchable than a second portion, and wherein the first portion of the item of sports clothing is configured to receive a mounting for a sensor or a sensor.

27. The method according to claim 21, wherein a textile area is incorporated in an area that is more stretchable than other areas of the stretching pattern of the item of sports clothing.

28. The method according to claim 21, wherein obtaining the stretching pattern includes using an optical method.

29. The method according to claim 21, wherein step (b) further includes forming at least two textile areas of the item of sports clothing with different stretching abilities.

30. An item of sports clothing manufactured pursuant to the method according to claim 21.

Patent History

Publication number: 20140090146
Type: Application
Filed: Oct 1, 2013
Publication Date: Apr 3, 2014
Inventors: Deborah YEOMANS (Herzogenaurach), David O'MAHONY (Nurnberg), Trudy Anne WATSON (Portland, OR), James TARRIER (Herzogenaurach)
Application Number: 14/043,365

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Body Garments (2/69)
International Classification: A41D 1/00 (20060101);