These days, wearable technology seems to be the next big thing and devices like Google Glass and Samsung's Galaxy Gear are already making waves. Not to be left out, Microsoft has jumped on to the bandwagon but with a different type of wearable technology - smart bra.
Microsoft has teamed up with the University of Rochester in New York and the University of Southampton in the UK, to develop a 'smart bra' aims to create a marriage between lingerie and cutting-edge sensor technology. The company's researchers have been working on a prototype bra that contains a number of sensors to monitor and record data on cardiac and dermal activity. The prototype is designed to help women monitor their moods and prevent them from binge eating. The sensors on the bra transmit the data to a smartphone and a specially designed app will send let the women know if they are stressful and will warn them from engaging in overeating. The full array of embedded sensors includes a gyroscope, an electrocardiogram, an accelerometer and an electro-dermal sensor, per the research paper published online.
The software giant's visualization and interaction research group has spearheaded the project. According to the researchers, they chose a bra due to its ideal proximity to the human heart. Sensors embedded in this type of undergarment can provide accurate readings regarding the current emotional state of a human body. The team has also experimented with a male version of the prototype using male briefs but the distance between the sensors and the heart proved to be too much to provide accurate results.
Test subjects were required to wear the prototype for a total six hours everyday for four days straight. The research team then analyzed the data collected from the test subjects over the testing period. Per the research report, "It was very tedious for participants to wear our prototyped sensing system, as the boards had to be recharged every three to four hours."
However, Microsoft has announced that it has currently no plans of mass producing the prototype and turning it into a commercially viable product and a Microsoft representative said the prototype is simply one of many research projects that the company is working on to study the other possible applications of wearable technology. And, that's good news for all the women out there because surely they wouldn't want anybody to hack into their bra.
If nothing else convinces you we need more women in tech, this should. No, I don't want someone hacking my bra... http://t.co/SYZ6p1yXSB
— Rachel Happe (@rhappe) December 4, 2013