Researchers at the University of Rochester and Microsoft are working on wearable computing that can caution a person against overeating. The first working prototype is a bra with sensors, that can gauge a person’s emotional state, and provide intervention through a mobile app, if the data suggests the person may start overeating.
There are three key requirements for a just-in-time support system for emotional eating, says the researchers. First, the application has to be aware of the user’s emotional eating patterns. Second, the system needs to be able to implicitly detect emotions. This involves wearable physiological sensors that are connected to the mobile phone. Finally, it is critical (and perhaps the most challenging) to determine how to intervene, and how often.
‘Emotional eating’, for the purpose of the research, has been used as a placeholder for non-homeostatic eating (i.e., eating that is not physiologically required).
[Images courtesy: University of Rochester]