A bra that prevents stress eating?
Regulating stress eating could be as simple as wearing a new bra – one that has special sensors to monitor your moods, that is.
Engineers at Microsoft Research have developed a "stress-busting" bra that sends feedback to a smartphone about a user's mood and feelings. The device captures heart rate, respiration, skin conductance and movement.
Scientists who tested the bra on a group of women volunteers found that they could predict the changes in physiology that occur during stress and stress eating, as well as the subjects' feelings.
"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 Mashable."We tried to do the same thing for men's underwear but it was too far away (from the heart)."
Technology and human emotion
The technology, which was built into each woman's own bra, works for about four hours without needing to be recharged.
Czerwinski and her team are currently looking for other parts of the body that can monitor moods with the same accuracy.
"Those brave women kept having to run to the bathroom to charge their bra," Czwerwinski said. "I think an insert in the foot would be good because feet are really sweaty."
The study suggests that new technological advancements may be able to help stress eaters self-monitor their behavior better, as the device gives clear feedback of a user's physiological state and enables greater awareness during moments that might normally trigger a stress-eating episode.
Czerwinski's research paper, "Food and Mood: Just-in-Time Support for Emotional Eating," was recently presented at the Society for Affective Computing conference.