When you think of wearable tech, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Perhaps it’s a smartwatch or Google Glass, maybe even Sony’s SmartWig, those are the things I thought of anyway. But Microsoft researchers have really thought out of the box with their new design for a smart bra that can detect stress.
The researchers have produced a prototype with removable sensors that can monitor the heart and skin activity, providing an indication of mood levels. The team embedded an electrocardiogram and electro-dermal activites sensors as well as a gyroscope and accelerometer in to the bra.
The idea behind this unusual creation was to find out if wearable technology can help prevent stress-related over-eating.
The wearer receives mood data through a smartphone app, which connects with the bra. It alerts the user if “emotional eating” is about to occur.
The researchers from Microsoft explained in their paper that a bra “was ideal because it allowed us to collect EKG [electrocardiogram] near the heart”.
Women who took part in the trial of the technology had to report their emotions for approximately six hours a day over four days.
“It was very tedious for participants to wear our prototyped sensing system, as the boards had to be recharged every three to four hours,” Microsoft senior research designer Asta Roseway said.
Wearable Technology And Health
There has been an increase in wearable technology being used to monitor various health conditions. There was a Twitter-connected bra, which tweeted every time it was unhooked, encouraging women to check their breasts as part of increasing awareness of breast cancer.
What is rather unfortunate for this piece of technology is that it only really works for women.
Efforts have been made to create a similar piece of underwear for men but according to reports io didn’t work as well, due to the sensors being located too far away from the heart.
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