The Microsoft smart bra is actually more of a mood ring than a proper undergarment. The bra will supposedly help women who suffer from stress related overeating. Move over, cross your heart bras. There’s a new bra in town.
As if shopping for a bra weren’t stressful enough, Microsoft has now made it so that women are also being fat shamed. The reason the bra was chosen is because it measures a woman’s electrocardiagram (EKG) and the bra is the article of clothing worn closest to the heart.
Researchers at Microsoft were looking to figure out a way to alert women to their emotional eating. The smart bra comes equipped with sensors that monitor respiration and heart rate. These key signals are identified before you begin your emotional eating and head it off at the pass. The data is then sent via Bluetooth to your mobile device, thus alerting the user that they are about to binge eat.
One of the study participants was actually unaware of how much she was eating before trying on the Microsoft smart bra. Another participant claimed that she became conscious of when she was about to eat and took the time to figure out why she was overeating. In order to fully track when women would succumb to emotional overeating they were made to wear the bra over a four hour period for a span of four days. Participants were required to log their eating habits and emotions during this time. Many became aware of the emotional overeating and were encouraged to make healthier food choices.
The Microsoft smart bra isn’t going to do all of the work for you. Sensors only send the signal to your cell phone. It’s up to each individual to decide at that time whether they want a cheeseburger or if maybe carrot sticks are a better option. The bra isn’t going to make that choice for you. There is still accountability on behalf of the user. In stressful situations, when emotional overeating is most likely to occur, grabbing a sweet or salty snack is easier than stopping to prepare a healthy snack. A good way to combat this behavior is to plan ahead and have plenty of healthy food in your fridge and pantry. Again, that is something the Microsoft ‘smart bra’ isn’t going to do for you.
The prototype for the smart bra is still experiencing some difficulties. Senior Research Designer Asta Roseway says that the trial was problematic because the battery ran out of life every four hours and needed to be recharged. Essentially, if emotional eating only occurs every four hours there should be no problems.
The Microsoft smart bra is really just a mood ring disguising itself as a bra. It is actually a little unfair since it’s been proven that both women and men alike are victims to emotional overeating. However, researchers found that women are more likely to succumb to binge eating in times of great stress. Researchers claim to be working on a model that will fit the bill for men.
By Mary Kay Love