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Microsoft develops bra to detect eating caused by stress

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While Google and Samsung have been busy with smartglasses and smartwatches, respectively, Microsoft has been working on a wearable device that's a little bit more intimate.

The Redmond, Wash., company has developed a smart-bra that its researchers say is used to help prevent women from stress eating.

The device, detailed in a research paper titled "Food and Mood: Just-in-Time Support
for Emotional Eating
," features multiple sensors to detect when women might want to eat because of stress. 

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The Microsoft research gadget monitors heart rate, respiration, skin conductance and movement. The device sends the data to a synced smartphone app that attempts to stop users from eating when they feel stress.

"It’s mostly women who are emotional overeaters, and it turns out that a bra is perfect for measuring EKG (electrocardiogram)," Mary Czerwinski, a research manager at Microsoft, told Discovery News.

The bra works so well because the monitors are located near a person's heart. But one problem with the bra is its battery lasts only about four hours, making it impractical for everyday use. Microsoft has not announced plans for the device to go on sale.

As for men, Microsoft also tried a version of the device using underwear, but, predictably, it didn't work as well.

"It was too far away (from the heart)," Czerwinski said. 

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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