Hexoskin is putting the wearable in wearable computing with a sensor-packed shirt

Tracking your steps will be so 2012 if the sensor-packed athletic tank that the folks at Hexoskin have designed takes off. The company, which was formed in 2006, recently launched an Indiegogo campaign featuring a shirt that contains an ECG sensor, two breathing sensors and an accelerometer.

This is a washable shirt, much like the folks at Heapsylon are doing with washable sensor-packed socks, and the data this shirt generates looks pretty impressive. The shirt contains the sensors, but to transmit that information you plug a box into the shirt (there’s a pocket it slips into), and then you view the data on a smartphone app.

The retail price is $399, which is a hefty chunk of change if you are happy with your Jawbone Up or Fuelband. But if you’re a hardcore athlete or maybe a research scientist, this product looks reasonable. Hexoskin CEO Pierre-Alexandre Fournier tells me that previous combinations of these sensors are sold by medical device companies for $3,000.

“This is like the PC market was in ’75 when there were all these small names and no big players,” said Fournier in an interview. “I think over the next five to ten years we’re going to see the wearable market expand a lot.” Personally, I’m thrilled about the opportunity this offers for research, medical monitoring, the quantified self and art and design.

Clothes are a pretty reasonable combination of function (they cover you up and keep you warm) and self-expression. Imagine what happens as we expand that functionality and offer even more options for self-expression via sensors and wireless links back to the cloud.