Microsoft develop ‘smart bra’ to prevent over-eating

Researchers at Microsoft have designed a bra that can measure mood levels and help prevent stress related over-eating.

The research, Food and Mood: Just-in-Time Support for Emotional Eating, aimed to provide a support system for users of the device by creating a "novel, wearable sensor system for detecting emotions using a machine learning approach".

The prototype developed by the team works by sending mood data from the bra's removable sensors to the user via a smartphone app. Both heart and skin activity is monitored by the sensors, the data from which then determines whether the wearer is likely to indulge in over-eating.

"We tested the sensing system and found positive results for emotion detection in this mobile, wearable system," the research claims.

"Based on these results, we conclude that building a wearable, physiological system is feasible. However, we will continue to explore how to build a robust, real-world system that stands up to every day challenges with regards to battery life, comfortability, and being suitable for both men and women."

The problem with battery life means the device is unlikely to go into commercial development any time soon.

Microsoft senior research designer Asta Roseway said: "It was very tedious for participants to wear our prototyped sensing system, as the boards had to be recharged every three to four hours."

Should these problems be overcome, the smart bra could become part of the booming wearable tech industry, which is expected to grow by over 50 per cent per year over the next few years. According to research released by Berg Research in October, wearable shipments will top 64 million by 2017.