Smart clothing for tracking performance data of athletes being developed in Latvia

The smart clothing line EchoSports, which is being developed in Latvia, makes it possible to see an athlete’s performance data online, in real-time, as EchoTech CEO Kaspars Urbāns informs.

“Originally the idea was not about clothing – we wanted to create a solution, a system for obtaining an athlete’s kinetic data in real time, including speed, acceleration and other data. This may be of great use to athletes, coaches, spectators.

In the beginning, there was a microchip, but then we realized that the equipment to be attached to the athlete should be innovative so more sports clubs and federations would be willing to use it, not just for practices but also in competition.

We figured out that, to achieve this, there had to be a piece of clothing not hampering the athlete in any way, and yet enabling us to have all the necessary information.

By sheer accident we ended up with people from the Riga Technical University’s Institute of Textile Materials Technology and Design, who could integrate treads and a lot of other elements into clothing,” says Urbāns.

There are companies elsewhere in the world that develop similar products, but their solutions can be afforded only by the richest of sports clubs, said Urbāns.

“If we look at the sports pyramid from the budgetary standpoint, the solutions of our competitors are only affordable to the very tip of the pyramid, less than 1% of athletes, while our goal is to create such a product that, without compromising on quality, would be available for a much broader share of the market,” revealed Urbāns.

Furthermore, the rivals have not yet realized the main advantage offered by EchoTech – real-time availability of performance data, added Urbāns.

The prototype of the system could be ready in October this year, when designing specific articles of clothing will also begin.

SIA EchoTech was established at the end of 2015. The company’s share capital is EUR 3,855. Urbāns owns 66.67% of the company’s shares, and Māris Dreija the other 33.33%.