April 24, 2024

The Bihar

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An Intel-powered bra that opens vents when the action gets too hot

2 min read

chromat-intel-braWhen it comes to undergarments, things either tip the form way or the function way. On the lingerie end of the spectrum it certainly looks like there’s plenty of comfort woven into the design, but the same can’t always be said at the ultra-functional sports end of things.

Sports bras, from what can I deduce from a purely male perspective, appear none too comfortable. Especially when used at long stretches and during intense workouts, discomfort can quickly become a very real thing when a person’s body temperature rises over the course of a 10-mile run or a Crossfit routine.

Enter Intel with their fingernail-sized embedded compute platform called Curie. This little device packs a 32-bit Intel Quark microcontroller, a six-axis motion sensor with accelerometer and gyroscope, an integrated digital signal processing (DSP) sensor hub and pattern matching circuit, Bluetooth low energy and 384KB of Flash memory into a Lilliputian form factor.

Revealed at CES earlier this year, this diminutive bit of hardware makes it possible to discreetly embed ‘smarts’ into virtually any context. Snapping up this idea, sports apparel manufacturer Chromat unveiled an interesting bit of kit at the recent New York Fashion week: a sports bra that senses body temperature and perspiration levels, and autonomously opens in-built vents to cool the wearer.

The Aero sports bra–fabricated using neoprene, mesh, and Lycra–utilizes 3D printed frames composed of smart materials that are able to ‘remember’ their original shape, which they return to after a workout. Apart from the added comfort, this real-time cooling purportedly enables the wearer to push to greater limits during their workout.

Chromat simultaneously demonstrated a club dress that incorporates the Curie platform to detect a threatening situation (based on the wearer’s adrenaline levels,) where it uses 3D-printed panels and a carbon fiber framework that ‘expands’ itself to create added personal space around the wearer. Much like the way a Puffer fish makes itself larger when faced with a threat. We’re not sure how this technology would play out in the real world, but the implications of such a technology are undoubtedly interesting.

While neither of these products are available for purchase–they have yet to pass FCC regulations–they point the way toward a very intriguing future with the Internet of Thingsinvading every area of our lives. Even the most intimate ones.

Courtesy: DNA India

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