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Microsoft's New Smart Bra Could Stop You From Over Eating 299

Posted by samzenpus
from the cross-your-heart-and-hope-to-diet dept.
walterbyrd writes "A team of engineers at Microsoft Research have developed a high-tech bra that's intended to monitor women's stress levels and dissuade them from emotional over-eating. The undergarment has sensors that track the user's heart rate, respiration, skin conductance and movement — all of which can indicate the type of stressful emotions that lead to over-eating, according to Microsoft researchers. The data is sent to a smartphone app, which then alerts users about their mood."
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Microsoft's New Smart Bra Could Stop You From Over Eating

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 08, 2013 @08:51PM (#45635527)

    I'm hungry!

  • by tylikcat (1578365) on Sunday December 08, 2013 @08:53PM (#45635555)

    I'm actually pretty amused by the sensor rigged bra - heck, I wear a bra to run in anyway, way better than a separate heart rate monitor. Though no proprietary MS crap for me ;-) (Can't imagine they provide decent support, y'know?)

    But it seems horribly tone deaf to decide to put their sensors in a bra, and then make the whole thing be about dieting. Please folks, try not to be assholes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 08, 2013 @08:56PM (#45635589)
    Thank god the project manager and senior researchers are women.

    Can you imagine the backlash from the feminist community should a man be anywhere near the top of a project focused on getting women to eat less?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 08, 2013 @09:18PM (#45635763)

    Damn it to hell.

    Fat shreds memory and cognitive function, in often imperceptible ways but the effects do build over time. It increases an individual's chances of acquiring diabetes, heart disease and a number of other maladies. It is responsible for increased fatigue and reduces the efficacy of the immune system. People suffering from obesity, and that term applies much sooner than most would like it to, tend to be less productive, cost their family and employers more, and die sooner.

    No, it is not appropriate to attempt shame someone over it. No, it is not justifiable to treat the individual as less than any other. This I am most decidedly against. However, fat is not something to be "accepted" as if it were a lifestyle choice; even if the war is never won, the individual should always fight. Regardless of the origin, be it stress, overeating, hormone imbalance, etc. Fat is something to fight. It is a medical condition and infinitely treatable.

    It's one thing when a man, or woman, is bound to a wheelchair for life due to a condition one cannot correct from birth or from an injury or from disease. It would be quite another if that man, or woman, is bound to a wheelchair because they refused to do the physical therapy. I mean, we would all give the person their space after whatever event brought them to that point. We would all give them time. But at some point, you would lose respect for them, wouldn't you? Their apathy would be off-putting. Now imagine they wanted you to "just accept it".

    The individual who is fighting deserves all the respect the individual who has won should receive. I would never grant the individual who refuses to fight that and nor should you. As for the fight, this bra is simply a tool to aid, in however limited way it may, that battle. It is not fat shaming. They're trying to help; they're not being assholes.

    I say this as someone who has spent a lifetime fighting, and my war rages on.

  • by tylikcat (1578365) on Sunday December 08, 2013 @09:49PM (#45635951)

    The being assholes bit is presenting this in a way exclusively aimed at women when women already face a great deal more scrutiny over their physical appearances (and much higher rates of eating disorders and the like). The sensor suite isn't the problem. I can even see the bra-mount as being useful, because hey, men aren't already wearing a strap around their chests. (And as I said, it has struck me as kind of annoying that a heart rate monitor is an additional strap around my chest when I am already wearing at least one.)

    But the presentation is hugely tone deaf, in that it plays into existing stereotypes in harmful ways. You remember being told that computers could be for women too - hey, I bet you could keep recipes on one, right? (Or perhaps that was before your time.) If you're going to make a product aimed at helping people not stress eat, for heaven's sake don't make it only for women. Especially considering all the pressure for women to stay thin specifically so they look good for men (as opposed to for reasons of health.) It might be assholery through cluelessness, but it's still assholery.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 08, 2013 @10:36PM (#45636225)

    Damn corporations, pushing products and lifestyles that make people fat!

    Damn corporations, pushing products and lifestyles that make people nonfat!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 08, 2013 @10:40PM (#45636253)
    It's funny then that a whole TV show like The Biggest Loser (granted, not a very good one) can be based around making obese people lose weight by increasing the amount they exercise and decreasing their intake of calories. Every season, without fail, they achieve drastic weight loss based on those two factors alone, so it's really a stretch to claim that they aren't very strong factors in weight loss. I know there's a growing trend of pretending what people do to their bodies will have no effect on their weight, but it's simply not true.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 08, 2013 @11:57PM (#45636677)

    That paper does ***not*** show that "overeating doesn't cause obesity." What it shows is that there is other factors also causing obesity. The fact that obesity is correlated with many different factors is not novel, and that is all that that paper shows (i.e. that obesity can be correlated with factors that do not involved eating or exercise). You're gonna need a better source to show that overeating doesn't cause obesity, and a damned good one at that, considering the connection between obesity and overeating has been scientifically (and non-scientifically) established many, many times (it's a simple fact of biology, in fact).

    Posted AC due to mod points.

  • by rioki (1328185) on Monday December 09, 2013 @05:14AM (#45637739) Homepage

    How expensive is this "bra"? How many can you buy without ruining yourself? Do they wash well? Are there different shapes? Can you change the strap configuration? How about matching panties?

    I am just a guy and have come up with a bunch of problems without actually touching the issue of sexism. I sort of see the appeal of integrating something into every day use, but it starts to get difficult with items that you change regularly and have a reasonable large amount of.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 09, 2013 @11:51AM (#45639931)

    The feminists wish to have a talk with you. Any suggestion that women are different from men is heresy.

    Actual feminists don't say that. Men who are constructing straw-man arguments say that.

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