Microsoft is currently developing a “smart bra” to curb overeating by sensing physiological changes that occur in a woman’s body when she overindulges.
The smart bra contains EKG sensors the monitor heard rate and respiration, key signs of emotional bing-eating.
"It’s mostly women who are emotional overeaters, and it turns out that a bra is perfect for measuring EKG (electrocardiogram)," Mary Czerwinski, a cognitive psychologist and senior researcher in visualization and interaction at Microsoft, told Discovery News. "We tried to do the same thing for men's underwear but it was too far away (from the heart)."
It should provide “just-in-time-support for emotional eating” by sending an alert to your smartphone via Bluetooth that can also offer a distraction to redirect your attention elsewhere.
According to a study, the gadget made users more likely to think twice before opening the fridge.
“I became more conscious when I was about to eat or drink and self-reﬂected on why I was consuming something,” one participant said.
“I was eating without being aware of it, but by having to log both my eating habits and my emotions, I became aware of triggers for emotional eating, and also more aware of the health (or lack thereof) in my diet,” said another user.
One drawback, Czerwinski points out, is that the sensors in the bra will only work for about four hours before needing to be recharged.
“Those brave women kept having to run to the bathroom to charge their bra," Czwerwinski said of study participants. "I think an insert in the foot would be good because feet are really sweaty."
According to Discovery, recent studies have show that half the U.S. population experiences stress-eating, which a a leading contributor to the obesity epidemic.