Increasingly, we’re in a national conversation over standards of beauty, to the point where being an ass to fat people on Facebook will get you banned. But, Microsoft being Microsoft, the company was building a “smart bra” to help women diet.
Right now you’re likely saying: “A Microsoft product? Ill-conceived?!” We know it’s hard to believe, considering the company’s long history of clever advertising and smart consumer moves, but man, this seems pretty dumb. As the BBC explains:
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. …the researchers say using a bra “was ideal because it allowed us to collect EKG [electrocardiogram] near the heart”.
We’re wondering what, precisely, getting a smartphone alert telling you not to eat so much, fatty, would do to relieve stress instead of increase it, but hey, we’re not Microsoft. In the end, what undid the product was the fact that the bra needed to be recharged every four or five hours in order to keep working, which is admittedly a lot to ask of any user.
Of course, with high-power supercapacitors constantly being refined and new fast-charging batteries appearing on the horizon, soon that will make the Microsoft Smart Bra an actual, viable product. Hey, maybe they can hire somebody uncontroversial as a spokeswoman, like MeMe Roth.