Under Armour Reveals NFL ‘Game-Changer’ Tech Shirt

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If you really want to know what drives your NFL prospect internally, you’ll need to get your hands on an E39 Compression Shirt.

Weighing 4.5 ounces, the Under Armour-brand tech-heavy biometric shirt can measure heart and breathing rates, skin-surface temperature and the wearer’s force and direction.

“The guys who are training with it are just enthralled with the ability to turn just around and look at how many G-forces they’ve generated,” Under Armour senior vice president Kevin Haley told the NFL’s Blog, who called the shirt’s technology a “game-changer.”

“They’ll get coaching from coaches where they couldn’t necessarily see something with the naked eye.”

Wired revealed that 10 to 30 prospects, including Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Cam Newton, will don these shirts during the 2011 Scouting Combine workouts – the “job fair” for prospective NFL players – which started last Saturday. At the base of the sternum, the shirt has a removable yellow button that is actually a device containing a triaxial accelerometer, a processor and 2 gigabytes of storage.

The sensor pack can broadcast the metrics to any Bluetooth-enabled device for viewers to analyze. The technology was developed by Zephyr, a data software company that normally makes products like these for the defense and health care industries.

It’s not available to the general public yet: Under Armour will first make the shirts available to contracted athletes and schools, then trainers the company has partnered with, and then non-contracted teams that want to test out the technology. After that, it will be available to the public. Sources estimate that you’ll be able to get your hands on one in a year.

It’s all very interesting, but I have to admit there’s only one thing that I really care about: Will it help the San Diego Chargers finally have a championship season?

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