December 3rd, 2013, 20:55 PM
Microsoft working on a smart bra to measure mood
Microsoft researchers have designed a smart bra that can detect stress.
The prototype contains removable sensors that monitor heart and skin activity to provide an indication of mood levels.
The aim was to find out if wearable technology could help prevent stress-related over-eating.
Mood data was provided to the wearer via a smartphone app in order to highlight when "emotional eating" was likely to occur.
A team from Microsoft's visualisation and interaction research group embedded an electrocardiogram and electro-dermal activities sensors as well as a gyroscope and accelerometer in the bra.
In their paper, the researchers say using a bra "was ideal because it allowed us to collect EKG [electrocardiogram] near the heart".
Efforts to create a similar piece of underwear for men worked less well, largely because the sensors were located too far away from the heart.
The women testing the technology reported their emotions for about six hours a day over a period of four days.
"It was very tedious for participants to wear our prototyped sensing system, as the boards had to be recharged every three to four hours," Microsoft senior research designer Asta Roseway said.