Champion athlete Jean-Luc Pérez on the importance of smart textiles

Champion athlete Jean-Luc Pérez on the importance of smart textiles

Our team spoke with Jean-Luc Pérez – science professor at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris, athlete, cyclist, and the 2019 Duo World Record holder in the prestigious Race Across America – about his experience with smart textiles in ultra-endurance athletics. 

He often partners with sports equipment manufacturers and assists in the development of innovative products, including smart textiles, which he tests under extreme conditions. 

Jean-Luc is open to collaboration with SmartX Community members – find him on Instagram.

How do you see smart textiles in extreme sports? 

Smart textiles are for a rider what automatic assistance is for a driver! 

They are the perfect tools to anticipate, analyse, and assist in performance management. Smart textiles provide information necessary to help you go on and avoid any type of collapse: dehydration, hypoglycemia, drift of heart rate, overheating of the body etc.

During the physical effort there is the feeling – what you are able to understand and analyse, and also all that is invisible and you don’t feel.

What has your experience been with smart textiles/apparel?

When you are riding across a continent, during Race Across America (RAAM) for example, you ride through the desert, you climb mountains, you have very wet conditions, so you need smart textiles to help you protect your body from these conditions.

For example, you can use an USB electric heated vest or a cooling vest in the desert in Arizona, and UV protection cooling arm sleeves. 

What’s been the positive impact of smart textiles on your life? 

Smart textiles reassure me and allow me to be more in control of managing my effort. They are an asset and bring a real gain as a result. It’s like having a little computer in your head!

How do you see the future of sport textiles, for the everyday man and high-level athletes?

Very Smart Textiles (the third generation of smart textiles) can react and adapt themselves to stimuli in a given circumstance. I have seen the tremendous growth of these and I believe textiles connected to smartphones will soon be on the market for everyone. 

SmartX Members: If you too wish to share your own experience with our Community, just let us know and we’ll be happy to discuss a feature. 

(Cover photo: JL Perez Facebook)