In case your underwear wasn’t imposing enough already, Microsoft is now working on a “smart bra” that can monitor your heart and skin to prevent overeating. Prototypes of the bras are embedded with sensors that seek out changes in the body’s stress levels and inform the bra’s wearer (How does it inform them exactly? Flashing lights? A robot voice telling them to put that donut down?). Since high stress can trigger emotional eating, its goal is to get women to stop and think before chowing.
According to a paper explaining the results of a project in which four women wore the prototype bras, the stress-level warnings “served as a health intervention to encourage the person to be more active or consume less food.” Slightly creepy, but okay.
“The bra form-factor was ideal because it allowed us to collect EKG (electrocardiagram) near the heart,” the researchers stated. Something about the thought of an EKG in my bra weirds me out. The batteries on the prototypes only last four hours, but they’re looking to improve the technology. The paper says:
“We conclude that building a wearable, physiological system (to combat overeating) is feasible. However, we will continue to explore how to build a robust, real-world system that stands up to every day challenges with regards to battery life, comfortability, and being suitable for both men and women.”
Now I’ve seen everything. Note to self: never wear a bra like this on a Sprinkles run!
[Image via University of Rochester]