Could pregnancy-monitoring clothes be the future of wearables?

A fashion student at Cornell University in the U.S has been awarded one of four $30,000 Geoffrey Beene national scholarships for her tech-enhanced maternity clothes concept, “B” Maternity Wearables. The awards honour promising designers and entrepreneurs and are decided each year in New York by a panel of fashion insiders.

According to New Scientist, after studying the market, Blake Uretsky concluded that a lot of existing maternity wear is not only unattractive, but could also be a lot more practical. Her designs feature built-in conducive silver nanowires that monitor temperature, heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure, all of which is sent to a complementary smartphone app via a small device worn on the belt of each item.

The idea is that the app can alert users if there’s any issue with their stats, and it could also be set up to send their doctor this data, so they can quickly and easily track patients’ health over the course of a pregnancy, rather than in a handful of appointments.

The range includes tops, trousers, skirts, and an evening gown, all in neutral colours with plenty of room to grow. Uretsky isn’t sure yet whether her concept will become a reality, but she’s certain she’ll use her award cash towards starting her own fashion line, so it’s a possibility.

Image credit: Blake Uretsky via The Cornell Daily Sun.

Diane Shipley