Though still early in the design stage, Microsoft is working with two universities to develop the world's first “smart bra.” Its function? To help track heart rhythms and help women refrain from emotional eating. Science fiction? Maybe not for long!
You might have a smartphone or a smart TV, or even a new wearable smart watch — but you might not have guessed that there would ever be a smart bra on store shelves.
How does it work? Designers chose a bra to house heart sensors because they wanted something comfortable women could wear for long durations — and let's face it, we're used to wearing bras. The bra features electrocardiogram monitors that are close to the heart and can detect differences in heart rhythms that can indicate emotional distress, such as depression, stress and discouragement.
Some women turn to food for comfort in times of duress, and this can lead to weight gain and health problems. Even the hormonal fluctuations we experience as a result of our monthly cycle can send us into the freezer after that delicious pint of ice cream on a particularly bad day.
That's exactly what this devices hopes to counter. When the sensors in the bra detect particular heart rhythms that indicate stress, a message is sent to the woman's smartphone to encourage her to make healthy eating choices.
Researchers said that much more research, study and design work is needed before such a bra becomes a viable commercial product. One major roadblock is the fact that the current design requires that the sensors need to be changed every three to four hours — not really feasible for all-day wearing for a busy woman.
While it won't be appearing on store shelves anytime soon, it's interesting and encouraging that there is research and work being done to help counteract the urge to eat emotionally.
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