When Microsoft reported plans for a smart bra equipped with sensors to help keep track of your health and mood, I scoffed at the idea. The concept of smart bras seemed a passing gimmick, and the comments from other critics on my previous blog on the topic seemed to agree.
Only two months have passed, and another bizarre smart bra has come into the spotlight. Except this one goes into even further campy territory. Japanese lingerie company, Ravijoir, is jumping on the smart bra bandwagon with their “True Love Tester” bra.
The sensors in the love bra are synced wirelessly to a smartphone app through Bluetooth, which tracks the wearer’s heart rate. When a woman meets her true love, the bra magically unclasps.
Don’t worry about false positives — the bra supposedly differentiates between increases in heart rate due to a true love encounter versus exercise-induced increases or other causes of cardiovascular excitement. This is apparently related to the adrenal gland, which secretes catecholamine transmitted to the automatic nerve, thereby causing a pulse increase that differs from other types of heart rate surges.
So just in case you were planning on wearing the bra while working out, public speaking, sky-diving, shoe-shopping, or watching a suspense thriller, there is no need to worry that your bra might come busting open spontaneously — unless of course you are participating in any of these activities with your one true love!
On a serious note, and perhaps a much more meaningful smart bra that you might actually find women wearing, is the Society Harnessing Equipment, or the SHE, developed by SRM University engineering students in response to India’s recent outbreak of sexual abuse and violent crimes against women.
SHE has its own set of highly intuitive sensors that detect pressure and can differentiate between different types of applied force. When violent force is applied, SHE delivers multiple shocks to the attacker, while protecting its wearer from the 3,800 kv it emits. SHE goes one step further, by sending out texts to the wearer’s friends or family and notifying police of the GPS location.
Ravijoir’s motto at the end of their promotional video states: “We do anything for women.” This statement is laughable, as it is obvious that the bra’s inventors (both men) have created something that only men will find appealing. Men who may have to try harder in their search for what women really want. Perhaps they can take a few notes from the creators of SHE.
And yet, this is another example of why we truly need more women engineers in the industry who could in turn invent more practical, meaningful devices for women. So, once again, I’m going to go ahead and speak for women everywhere.
The True Love Tester smart bra needs to go back to the drawing board, or at least a roaring barrel — it has been awhile since a good bra burning made a headline.
What do you think? Is this an example of wearable technology gone too far? Comment below.