Wearable technology isn't just the purview of the young. Case in point? The "Vigour", a "product service system" that helps seniors, physiotherapists, and family members gain insight into the rehabilitation process. Resembling little more than a cozy knit cardigan, the Vigour uses a system of stretch sensors to monitor the movements of the upper body. Like any garment, it can be worn throughout the day, steadily gathering baseline data. It's during physical activity, however, that the Vigour really shines. Streaming information to an iPad or other device, the Vigour offers direct feedback not only to the wearer but also any service or care providers.
The Vigour’s unassuming appearance is key to making it palatable to a wider audience, since its familiar look and feel comforts rather than intimidates. (Thanks to its attractive design, we wouldn’t mind wearing one ourselves—even without the bells and whistles.)
“Basically the technology becomes invisible; it’s more about the feeling and the touch of the design,” says Pauline von Dongen, a Dutch fashion designer who worked on the project, in the above video. “The patient doesn’t have to really worry about what’s happening on the inside.”
To bring the Vigour to fruition, Van Dongen collaborated with Eindhoven University of Technology’s Martijn ten Bhomer, Metatronics, De Wever, and Textielmuseum in the Netherlands.