Reebok sets sights on flexible computing sportswear, partners with startup team

Science has prototyped flexible versions of just about everything a ever-loving geek needs: displays, memory, batteries, LEDs, speakers and an input device or three. Now, Reebok's looking to put some of that computing power up our sleeves. The apparel manufacturer's teamed up with MC10 -- a startup founded by our old friend John Rogers, who helped pioneer the field -- with the intent to build "conformable electronics" into high-performance clothing for athletes over the next couple of years. Though the company told MIT Technology Review the devices typically consist of thin silicon strips printed onto flexible materials, and that they might they might measure metabolism and performance using embedded sensors, hard details are few -- the only thing we know for sure is that a flexible tech scientist just scored a partnership with a major company, and we're hopeful they'll make something neat. PR after the break.

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Reebok and MC10 Announce Development Collaboration for Advanced Athletic Apparel

Massachusetts companies partner to develop conformal electronics-enabled apparel and equipment for athlete monitoring and performance enhancement

CANTON, MA (December 9, 2010) – Reebok International Ltd. and Cambridge, MA-based MC10, Inc. have today announced an R&D collaboration to create a new class of athletic apparel and equipment, combining market leading sport design with advanced electronics.

The collaboration will use MC10's revolutionary conformal electronics platform and Reebok's preeminent design capability to bring new products to the athletics market. When combined with Reebok's heritage of innovation for the athlete, MC10's proprietary approach to making high performance electronics "skin like" and invisible to the wearer will enable entirely new classes of intelligent sports equipment and apparel.

Reebok has a strong history of innovation with iconic products in the sporting goods industry like The Pump®, and more recently EasyTone®, and ZigTechTM, which deliver game changing technologies to consumers.

"We are excited to begin a new chapter of sport innovation at Reebok. The marriage of our expertise in performance athletics and MC10's leading edge electronics capability will help shape a broad range of exciting product possibilities," said Paul Litchfield, Vice President of Reebok Advanced Concepts.

MC10's conformal electronics platform makes high performance chips and sensors thin and bendable, transforming once rigid devices into truly wearable products. This capability allows the seamless integration of electronics into athletic goods, catalyzing new levels of performance and intelligence.

"We are delighted to bring the unique advantages of our technology platform to the world of athletics with Reebok," said Ben Schlatka, Vice President of Business Development and Co-Founder of MC10.