If you’re reading this, you may already be familiar with OM’s collection of smart shirts for men that launched with great success back in 2014. After much applause, and a plethora of requests from eager women who wanted in on the action too, the day has finally come for us to reveal the OMbra. A bra in perfect tune with its time. The ultimate smart bra.
Rewind 4 years. OM’s initial product was a bra, but at the time our resources were rather limited and as such, while we had the technology and an incredible team of scientists and engineers, truth be told, we were lacking in the apparel design capabilities and experience. Fast forward 3 years and the beginnings of a revolutionary, head-turning smart bra came to life.
Bit by bit, the OMbra was painstakingly crafted over the course of a year by experienced sports bra designers, scientists and engineers with over 25 years of experience in the smart textile technology industry.
The OMbra is a product of science and engineering as much as it is the product of design and creation. Over the course of a year, we developed 1633 prototypes and used software development methodologies and approaches throughout the development of the bra to test and optimize every parameter methodically.
The evolution and growth of the OMbra came to fruition through exhaustive scientific research, ensuring that only the most sophisticated and premium of sports bras was built. A great deal of our research was focused on biomechanics (the study of the mechanical aspects of human exercise) and support – key features of the OMbra that sets it apart from the rest.
Some other equally important findings during the course of our research included:
- 70+% of women do not pick the right size bra
- Straps are the most common complaint about sports bras
- The way a woman runs will change depending on how the breasts are supported
Armed with our findings, intense ambition, and the resources to achieve our first goal, we were finally able to produce the bra that we had always set out to make by combining these key design elements:
- Stretchable fabric: The four-way stretchable, light fabric ensures the bra conforms to the body’s shape while in movement. The bra can easily adapt to any breast shape as it is made from a blend of polyester, nylon and elastane. It also serves as an absorbent to pressure, and reduces stress on the back and shoulders.
- Mesh: Breathability is of paramount importance in sports bras. Mesh panels are integrated on the front and back of the bra. The fabrics and meshes are antimicrobial with sweat-wicking properties to keep you dry.
- Adjustable straps and closure: To make sizing easier, the bra can be adjusted depending on the sport being practiced, the top worn over the bra, or simply one’s mood. During sports, but also in running, the breast does not only move up and down, but also left and right. These movements are less apparent but have a huge impact on comfort. The OMbra limits movement of the breasts by securing the movement in 3 dimensions with adjustable straps, lateral stitches and double-layered compressive sides. The OMbra also has a special racerback that dissipates the straps' force to the side of the bra instead of the back. This stops the straps from slipping onto the shoulders as well as blocks the elastic band from moving upward.
- Cups: A high support bra doesn't mean poor aesthetics. On the aesthetic front we found it exceptionally important to integrate padded cups, as a high support bra should not result in a flattened chest. The OMbra comes with removable padding to adjust to different cup shapes and sizes, and to accommodate different climates.
A Breakthrough in Running
With the OMbra comes a revolution in sports tech: OMrun. OMrun is OMsignal's revolutionary running platform created to help runners of every level manage their running performance. On top of all the basics such as distance, cadence, pace, heart rate and calories, our scientists have developed additional metrics exclusive to OMsignal. While the basic metrics are important markers, OM’s exclusive insights help you push for optimal performance, speed up progress, and see results faster by tracking your:
- Breathing rhythm: Breathing rhythm refers to the number of footsteps you take with each foot while breathing in or out. For example, a 2:2 rhythm would mean you take two steps (one with your right foot and one with the left) while breathing in, and two steps while breathing out. Use breathing rhythm to help you focus on keeping your breathing rhythmic and in-sync with your steps. The more rhythmic your breathing is the less you’ll tire out your respiratory system, which can use up to 15% of your energy expenditure when exerted.
- Fatigue: Your Fatigue gauge is an indicator of what state of cumulative fatigue your body is in, based on the last 14 days of training. It is calculated by assessing your state of rest before, your biometric effort during, and your state of tiredness after each run in the last 14 days. It uses your heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV) and proprietary breathing algorithms to assess each state. Most technologies only use HR to estimate a state of fatigue. Few technologies like OMsignal, can also measure HRV. Only OMsignal adds an additional layer of accuracy by factoring in your breathing, a biometric that can vary (relatively) just as much as your heart rate when exerting yourself.
- Biometric effort: Biometric effort is the level of effort your body put into each run, quantified on a score of 1 to 10 (max effort). It is calculated using your heart rate (HR), breathing rate (BR) and heart rate variability (HRV) measured throughout the run. Your biometric effort will give you an accurate and objective assessment of how much you pushed your body. It ties into your fatigue to help you avoid overtraining.
- Biometric Coach: Your body doesn’t lie, so who better to tell you how you performed than your own body? The Biometric Coach aligns your biometric effort with the target effort you set for yourself before your run. You might have been gunning for a hard run but the effort your body actually put into it was only moderate. The OMsignal Biometric Coach will tell you that you could have pushed yourself a little harder. It also gives tips on your other metrics like cadence and breathing rhythm to help you digest the information more easily.
What an exciting year 2015 has been and we couldn’t be more excited to have you be a part of it – from a revolutionary smart bra to a revolution in running, here’s to 2016 and a fitter, healthier, happier you.
OMbra and OMrun available spring 2016. Sign up here to be first in line to reserve yours.