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Microsoft and Univ. of Rochester test a “just-in-time” support system

What am I talking about? An EKG-enabled BRASSIERE that tells a smartphone app when you’re under stress ladies, and that will let you know this so you don’t stress-eat. And the study abstract calls it a “just-in-time support system for emotional eating.”

That joke just wrote itself.

All in the name of science, I’m sure.

Okay, enough snark. Here’s the low-down: stress eating is probably a fairly common thing. We get stressed, we eat (or drink) something comforting, we feel better, we do the same thing over and over and it becomes habit. Well, Microsoft and the University of Rochester wanted to do something about this. First they started with a self-reporting WP7 app to learn about eating patterns. Then they investigated a possible intervention, suggesting breathing exercises. Lastly, they built the “wearable” sensor system, to collect bio data (they use the word emotional, but I would say that heart-patterns would be more accurate, but I’m a layman). It’s only 6 pages, and I thought it was pretty understandable. You can read the report here.

Back to the fun part – the bra. They used their lab employees, not the study subjects, and found that the boards in the sensors had to be recharged every 3-4 hours. Not very practical, and at the end of the report they even say as much, reporting that they would next be using a wrist band, which would allow more male participants.

“Just-in-time support system”… It was just too good to not share.