Microsoft researchers are developing a bra with sensors that could monitor a woman’s emotional state to combat overeating.
Researchers at Microsoft have developed a prototype of a “smart bra” embedded with physiological sensors that seek to monitor a woman’s heart activity to track her emotional moods and combat overeating. The sensors can signal the wearer’s smartphone, which then flash a warning message to help her step away from the fridge and make better diet decisions.
I have no words. No, wait, I have many. Tech industry endemic sexism; why did they choose to develop a “health” product so radically gendered (because in our society it doesn’t matter if men are fat nearly so much as it matters when women are); overall employee distribution 3:1 in favor of men (and I’d bet on a much worse ratio in non-technical positions); a culture that normalizes treating women like pets/less than human. If they’d made it to go in men’s clothing at the same time they developed the bra idea, that might remove one dimension of offensiveness. But using the same old stereotype of “women” and “emotionality,” really? To say nothing of the sexism of their applied fatphobia in the guise of a device to “help make healthier choices” by shocking women with dog collars?!
Wow, good job, Microsoft, let’s develop a product to fat-shame women and treat them like uncontrollable animals while letting boys be boys. Talk about epic fail. And no, nobody’s forcing anyone to buy it yet, but the part where women still have to live in a society where there’s a whole big group of people that think this whole thing is okay? Okay enough to create and develop on paid company time? Repulsive.
The only relief is that they don’t have plans to make it a commercial product, but that sure doesn’t stop them licensing the technology to others who will.
(via Microsoft developed a ‘smart’ bra - CNN.com)
IT DOESN’T SHOCK YOU, it sends a damn message to your smartphone warning you that you seem to be emotional, and not to eat at that moment.
It’s actually kind of brilliant; replace “eating emotionally” with, “making impulsive decisions,” and Microsoft has basically created a device that will warn you when you’re about to do stupid shit because you’re not thinking clearly. That’s AWESOME.
Also, they tried to make it for men too. The project failed because they were trying to get the devices tucked discreetly into undergarments, but men’s underwear is too far from their heart. My guess is a tight A-shirt might work, and they could develop that next if the bra version pans out.
And I hope they do. There’s basically nothing sexist about this. If I identified as a woman and wore a bra, I would totally buy one.