Seismic's robotic underwear powers down the catwalk

Seismic body suit

Smart clothing company Seismic has unveiled its spring collection at TechCrunch Disrupt, including a new piece of powered underwear that can connect to your phone, improve your tennis game, and support your hips while you're sitting at concerts.

"If you wear clothes, you are a potential customer of Seismic," says the company's CEO and co-founder Rich Mahoney. “We see a future where simply getting dressed in the morning can dramatically improve people’s lifestyles and expand what they are capable of accomplishing.

"Today we unveiled a product prototype, and our technology will continue to become lighter and smaller and more powerful, with the suit’s intelligence uniquely optimizing the wearer’s experience, learning and adapting with every use.”

Strong and stable

The suit includes a base layer made from a combination of stretch knit and woven fabrics. You can wear this on its own as regular underwear, or augment it with robotic components that sit on your outer leg, hips and lower back.

These artificial 'muscles' (powered by lithium-ion batteries) contract and relax to enhance your own muscles' power as you move, and support your core and hips while you're sitting or standing. Sensors track the motion of your body and monitor the force each muscle is applying.

"Creating impactful robotic products is my passion," says Mahoney. "The impetus for starting Seismic was when I realized a very simple truism: no one wears robotics, everyone wears clothing. That is why we are an apparel company first and foremost. The more we fit into people’s lifestyles, the more they will use the technology."

Mahoney reports that Seismic's beta users love using the suit – whether it's for playing tennis, hiking, or sitting for long periods at concerts. "This is clothing that should exist," he says, "and now it does."

The company plans to start selling its suits to the public next year. Each one will be custom-fitted to the user's anatomy, and programmed to support their lifestyle.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)