A smart bra just fell casualty to cruel Kickstarter. The Hera.training connected sports bra looked promising, with real time coaching and weekly workout sessions, but just couldn't raise the dough in time.
So is this a trend the industry - everyone from Intel to Victoria's Secret - is trying to push or is it actually a thing? I reckon it makes sense to smarten up bras - you switch them up for different er.. activities anyway, they're close to your body and you wear them all day without drawing too much attention.
Read this: When smart underwear gets weird
Female-friendly sex accessories are on their way and there's some exciting healthcare features to be explored but really smart bras are all about sports. So, accurate heart rate measurements, a comfortable fit and extras like cooling you down when you get sweaty (Chromat Aeros) or matching your playlist to your heart beat (Keep Beat).
There's still work to do, though - we want washable smart garments that are easy to throw on, not to mention coach us to make real lifestyle and fitness changes. Oh and, as with dumb bras, we'd like a variety of sizes, styles and straps please. As the tracking modules get cheaper, it shouldn't be too tricky to make modular smart sports bras a reality for everyday workouts.
Let us know how you feel about smart sports bras in the comments.
WEAR - OMsignal OMbra
The OMbra isn't out yet (due summer 2016) but the Canadian startup has previous form with its smart sports clothing. It uses a small clip-on data box, unlike the Hera.training smart bra, a recent cancelled Kickstarter campaign which wove sensors into the fabric. Battery life is a day and third party apps are supported for data like distance, heart rate and breathing rate.
NEARLY THERE - Chromat Aeros
Chromat showed off its Intel Curie-powered Aeros Sports bra at last September's NYFW but we haven't heard much about it since. Pity as it's very promising - when you get hot and sweaty, it transforms itself by opening and closing vents thereby cooling you down or keeping your warm.
The secret? Shape memory alloy metal keeps its original shape. It was part of the SS16 collection so we'll keep an eye out, it hasn't shown up on Chromat's online store yet.
SQUARE - Nestle Tweeting Bra
There's something about underwear that gimmicky marketers just love and the Nestle Tweeting Bra is no exception. As part of a stunt a couple of years ago, when unhooked it was set up to send an automatic tweet to raise breast cancer awareness, presumably to remind women to give themselves regular checks.
Much more impressive is the iTbra being trialled at Ohio State and Stanford universities. It can detect the early signs of breast cancer by using heat sensors to measure circadian temperature changes within cells. Now it just needs to get out of clinical trials and into hospitals.