Australian researchers are working on the the world's first Bionic Bra that tightens and adjusts based on breast movement.
The Bionic Bra, which has been in development for more than 15 years, adds a modern spin to an ancient necessity. Many women do not wear the correct bra size; in fact a good deal of bras on the market don't provide the right support, especially while you're working out. In theory, the Bionic Bra would help fix this problem.
The idea comes from professor Julie Steele, director of Breast Research Australia (BRA) based at the University of Wollongong in Australia, who aims to cut down on the physical complications that stem from wearing an unsupportive bra, such as nerve damage in the shoulders, neck and back pain and numbness in the fingers.
“Unfortunately, the most supportive sports bras tend to be the most uncomfortable to wear," Steele said in a statement. "Making matters worse, BRA research has found that 85% of women are wearing bras that do not fit or support their breasts correctly.”
The smart bra uses soft, intelligent fabric that sends a signal to the bra's fibers. From there, the piece adjusts to fit the user, contracting and expanding as if it has muscles of its own.
This means if a woman was relaxed, sitting on the couch, the bra would fit one way, but if she was running through an airport to catch a plane, it would detect movement and adjust to give more support, according to The New York Post.
The researchers cite advancements in 3D printing as a way to "assemble structures containing new sensing technologies to more accurately monitor movement and new artificial muscle technologies to control it."
An early prototype of the Bionic Bra includes a cluster of smart fibers near the clasp, but future designs will include them throughout the bra.
This isn't the first high-tech bra that has made headlines. Last year, marketers behind Nestle Fitness developed a tweeting bra that sent tweets with the high of low-voltage Bluetooth. Each time a user unhooked the bra, it would automatically send a tweet (via @TweetingBra) that reminded women to perform a breast self exam.
While significant work has already been done on the development of the BIonic Bra, it's not ready quite yet.
“Although we have made substantial progress, we still have a way to go before the Bionic Bra can be taken from the bench top to the washing machine," Steele said. "However, when finished, the Bionic Bra will transform bra design."
Tags: AUSTRALIA, BRA, HEALTH & FITNESS, MOBILE, Tech