Consumerist Reports on Panopticon (a.k.a. “Smart”) Bra

The Consumerist blog has a post up about a research project from Microsoft, which they label a “smart bra.”  From the description, it seems like it’s a Shame-You-Into-Not-Eating Bra. Because if a bra is going to do things like measure the wearer’s heart rate, obviously the most helpful way to use that information is to tell people with boobs to “Step Away From The Fridge.”

It is a bit interesting to see the Consumerist reporter think through the implications and micro-messaging of such a product:

“Which, again, not sure it’s cool for a bra to be telling people how to live their lives, but then again, if people want that help, sure, give it.”

“At the base of this effort is research that many people — male and female! — go for calorie-laden foods when they’re stressed out, sad, discouraged or otherwise testy.”

And all the chuckles and eye-rolls aside, I thought this nugget of information was interesting:

“Participants in the research were women in the UK who said that having someone or something intervene helped them know what triggered their binge eating.”

Instead of using such technology to simply tell people that they shouldn’t be eating, alerting them to their various physiological states, so that they can better assess what may have recently triggered a certain behavior, seems possibly pretty cool and extremely helpful.

…If we can just take out the creepy self-policing aspect.

6 thoughts on “Consumerist Reports on Panopticon (a.k.a. “Smart”) Bra

  1. For someone like me who is suspected of having high blood pressure, it might actually be really interesting to be able to track precisely what leads to increase in blood pressure, if it has anything to do with what was consumed or done. But the whole talk about it is how it will help us lose weight… sad.

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