Smart Shirts for First Responders Coming From DHS


Shirts from Hexoskin monitor vitals in near real-time and are designed to improve safety.

The Department of Homeland Security has announced they are funding smart shirts for law enforcement and other first responders. The shirts, a product of a collaboration between Hexoskin and Sensor Up, contain sensors that measure breathing, heart rate, steps, and other vitals.

The sensors connect to a small pocket-sized module that transmits back to the command center in near real-time (there is a mere one-second delay) and alerts them to changes that could mean trouble. Since vitals can change even before the first responder realizes there’s a problem, safety is improved. The shirts, which look similar to those sold by UnderArmor, are already in use by the police department in Dubai, where they are used to ensure officers stay healthy during the country’s extremely hot weather.

Hexoskin’s shirts send the data they collect to Sensor Up’s data exchange platform, where it is analyzed and presented in a comprehensive dashboard that shows biometrics side by side without situational information..

The smart shirts are one of many projects the DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate is working on. They’ve created a First Responders Group IoT Pilot Project to demonstrate how various IoT sensors and devices can be used to protect first responders and improve their real-time situational awareness. To that end, they are calling on IoT manufacturers to adopt open standards so data from a variety of proprietary devices can be easily integrated, including smart shirts, smart watches, body cameras, and other IoT wearables.

The shirts are also available to the general public, where they are designed to be used by athletes and personal trainers. Users can view their data by logging into a web-based dashboard or using a mobile app.

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Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is News Writer for RTInsights, and a freelance writer and social media manager living in New York City. Her specialties include tech, security and e-commerce. You can follow her on Twitter at @girlfridaygeek.

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