LONDON (TIP): British scientists have developed the world’s first smart bra that can detect changes in mood with the hope of preventing emotionally-triggered over-eating in women. The bra has been jointly created by the University of Southampton, Microsoft Research and the University of Rochester. Designed by M C Schraefel who is a professor in computer science and human performance from the University of Southampton, the prototype contains removable sensors that monitor heart and skin activity. The data from the prototype device is analyzed by a smartphone app which can highlight when ’emotional eating’ is most likely to occur and offer advice to the wearer .
The wearable technology monitored electro-dermal activity or EMA (a measure of sweat gland activity), electrocardiogram or EKG (heart rate and respiration) data and movement from an accelerometer and gyroscope integrated in removable conducive pads to provide an idea of the user’s mood. The research found that the prototype could identify emotions with accuracy “significantly better than chance” and “on a par with other affect recognition systems.” Schraefel said, “Emotional state, habitual practices , like snacking in front of the TV or grabbing a cookie when stressed often go undetected by us but they have real effects on our wellbeing . Our work in this project shows that there is potential to design interactive technologies to work with us, to help us develop awareness of our state and offer options we’ve decided we’d rather take to build new practices and support our wellbeing.”