The stress-busting bra was recently tested by a small group of volunteers who were able to get feedback on their moods. Microsoft built the sensor pads with a microprocessor powered by a 3.7-volt battery. It was able to sample up to eight bio-signal channels simultaneously, according to Czerwinski's research paper, "Food and Mood: Just-in-Time Support for Emotional Eating," which was presented recently at the Society for Affective Computing conference.
The sensors captured heart rate and respiration with an EKG sensor, skin conductance with an electrodermal activity sensor, and movement with an accelerometer and gyroscope. The data was streamed to a smarphone app, as well as stored in the researchers' computer.
By both recording their own moods on a smartphone app and collecting data from the bra-sensors, the scientists could accurately predict changes in physiology that accompanies eating and stress, including whether the subjects were happy or angry.
The sensor pads were built into each woman's own bra, but Czerwinski admitted that they only worked for about four hours until they had to recharge the batteries. She's now looking for another part of the body to monitor moods that has similar physiological accuracy, but that doesn't require as much work.