Supporting your body in more ways than one! The high-tech bra designed to stop women from comfort eating
To stop women reaching for the cookie jar when things hit a low, Microsoft's new prototype bra predicts when the wearer is likely to comfort eat and warns against it.
The software company's high-tech undergarment features sensors in the cup pockets and side panels that detect changes in heart rate, skin temperature and stress levels - apparent precursors to overeating.
All of the data is then streamed via Bluetooth to a smartphone app providing real-time 'mood-triggered eating' alerts.
One way to slim! To stop women reaching for the cookie jar when things hit a low, Microsoft's new prototype bra predicts when the wearer is likely to comfort eat and warns against it (stock picture)
Lead researcher and cognitive psychologist, Mary Czerwinski, says the garment will make people aware of their
'maladaptive behaviors' so they can replace them with 'adaptive ones.'
In her paper, Food and Mood: Just-in-Time Support for Emotional Eating, she continues: 'The rationale for the criticality of monitoring is that it helps patients to be more aware of what is happening in the moment.
'[That way] they can begin to make changes to behavior that may have seemed automatic or beyond their control.'
Microsoft's bra was recently tested by a group of four volunteers over a four-day period.
Wired up: The software company's undergarment features sensors in the cup pockets and side panels that detect changes in heart rate, skin temperature and stress levels - precursors to overeating
According to Ms Czerwinski and her team, it was a very 'tedious' process for participants to wear the 'prototyped sensing system' because the batteries had to be recharged every three to four hours.
But Ms Czerwinski and her fellow researchers were pleased with the results that came back.
They wrote: 'Our pilot results have been quite promising . . .Using log files, we were able to detect arousal at 75.00per cent and [emotions] at 72.62per cent.'
'For instance, many people reach for calorically dense foods, like donuts, when stressed'
So that men can also be notified of ensuing snack attacks, the Microsoft team are now experimenting with 'sensor bracelets'.
They suggest the reasons for overeating 'are intertwined in physiological responses.'
'For instance, many people reach for calorically dense foods, like donuts, when stressed,' they write.
Optimistic about their latest invention, they conclude: 'An important insight around over-eating behavior is that [non-essential] eating patterns can be reeducated.'
other words, both our physiological responses (the release of ghrelin
to cue stomach grumbling at particular times) and psychosocial responses
(eat in the presence of food or in response to stress) are malleable.
'Therefore, technology that is used to intervene before the maladaptive
behavior happens could provide some assistance towards longterm,
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