Soon, Your Bra Could Tell You when You Need to Stop Eating
Obesity continues to be a problem in this country, with statistics reflecting the problems people have controlling what and/or how much they eat — particularly women. Stress is known to be a significant factor that causes a negative cycle of eating, gaining weight, and stressing out so that you eat again. This common problem is especially difficult during the holidays. In response, researchers have designed stress-detecting apps for the smartphone, as well as bracelets that have special sensors to let you know if your stress level is on the rise. Now, there is also a stress-busting bra made from specially designed materials that can monitor the wearer’s moods and help them regulate their eating habits.
The bra works like a portable EKG, measuring the heart rate. Made by Microsoft, the bra operates with sensor pads that are powered by a 3.7 volt battery. It has the capacity to sample as many as eight bio-signal channels at one time. It captures the heart rate and respiration with the EKG, while the electrodermal activity sensor reads skin conductance and movement using an accelerometer and gyroscope.
Researchers at Microsoft tested the sensory bra by recording their own moods and collecting the data. They found they could accurately predict changes in their physiology known to accompany eating and stress. It also determined if the person was happy or angry. Every time the bra is undone, it sends out a proactive tweet. Although only being worn by one woman, at this time, it is hoped that the bra will help women stop stressing before they eat too much.