Smart Shirts: Japan's Answer to Wearable Tech

May, 12, 2014: We'll see your wearable tech and raise you a smart shirt.

It has been known for a while that wearable tech is set to take the digital world by storm. Yes, so far its introduction into mainstream consumer markets hasn't been that smooth, but it's widely believed that once perfected, wearable tech and not handheld devices will be the future of this industry.

One major reason why customers aren't that receptive to wearable tech is the comfort issue, and the fact that it looks a bit forced when used as part of daily attire. A Japanese company may have found the solution to both of these problems, though.

NTT Corp. and Toray Industries Inc. have pooled their respective expertise in telecommunications and synthetic fibers to create a smart shirt that can interact seamlessly with the human body and relay the collected information to the wearer's smartphone.

The making of such a shirt has been made possible due to a new clothing material called "Hitoe", which is short for 'human intelligence to expand.' This groundbreaking material is made up of super thin Toray nanofibers and highly conductive polymer, which enable the fibers to catch bioelectric signals.

It then uses those signals to calculate the wearer's heart rate and conduct electrocardiogram tests. While smart gadgets can already perform this function, they aren't as perfectly built for wearing as this new shirt is.

Its features are limited at the moment, and at first, it will only make sense to use them while exercising. However, it's only a start, and with the direction NTT and Toray are giving, the possibilities are endless.

Check out these hitoe-made smart shits in the video up top.

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