Microsoft develops 'smart bra' to battle over-eating

  • microsoft

Any women knows that shopping for new and sexy lingerie is certainly a mood lifter and can make you feel better about yourself, but a research team at Microsoft decided to take on Victoria’s Secret, Agent Provocateur and other lingerie brands with a 'smart bra'.

The 'smart bra' idea was created by a team of five scientists at Microsoft Research with the aim of finding out if wearable technology could help prevent stress-related over-eating.

The findings were published a paper online called "Food and Mood: Just-in-Time Support for Emotional Eating."

The bra contained an electrocardiogram and electro-dermal activities sensors (tracks perspiration)and also included a gyroscope and accelerometer which were able to monitor via heart and skin activities various mood levels.

The researchers said that using a bra "was ideal because it allowed us to collect EKG [activity] near the heart".

For about six hours a day over a period of four days, four women in the study had to record on a smartphone app their moods every hour , but also remove and recharge their bras every three to four hours, in what the researchers described as a "very tedious process."

The bra was able to predict changes in the womens physiology that accompanies eating and stress, and also if the subjects were happy or angry, and warn them when there was a chance of stress-related eating.

Efforts to create a similar item for men worked less well, said Mary Czerwinski, a cognitive psychologist and senior researcher in visualization and interaction at Microsoft.

"We tried to do the same thing for men's underwear but it was too far away (from the heart)."

The giant tech company however says that it has no plans to make the bra into a commercial product.

"While we will continue our research in affective computing, Microsoft has no plans to develop a bra with sensor".

They did however conclude that “that building a wearable, physiological system (to combat overeating) is feasible.”

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