Responsive sports bra opens up when things get hot and sweaty
Bras can be pretty uncomfortable items ofapparel – or so I'm reliably informed. And while bras worn for show in thebedroom often have plenty of ventilation, those worn on the sporting field forsupport often don't. To show off the potential for its Curie module, Intelteamed up with architectural sportswear designer Chromat to produce two"responsive garments" – a bra and a dress – which change shape isresponse to the wearer's body temperature, adrenaline or stress levels.
Intel's Curie is a button-sized module thatpacks a low-power, 32-bit Intel Quark microcontroller, six-axis motion sensorwith accelerometer and gyroscope, integrated digital signal processing (DSP)sensor hub and pattern matching technology, Bluetooth Low Energy and 384 kB offlash memory and 80 kB of RAM. Intended for embedding in wearable devices aimedat a range of applications, such as health and wellbeing, social networking andfitness, the module is power efficient and supported by a software platformdeveloped specifically for the unit.
The module isn't due to ship to select OEMsand ODMs until later in the year, but a number of companies have been samplingthe device. Among them is New York-based Chromat, which showed two garmentspowered by the Intel Curie module at its Spring/Summer 2016 runway show at MADEFashion Week.
The Chromat Adrenaline Dress is a blacknumber made of neoprene stretched over 3D-printed panels with a carbon fiberframework attached to the back. In the same way that some birds will puff theirplumage when threatened to make themselves look bigger, the carbon fiberframework activated by a shape memory alloy will expand into a stylizedhourglass shape when it detects an adrenaline rush – which in this case isindicated by an increase in sweating and breathing rate.
Potentially of more practical use is the Chromat Aeros Sports Bra, which consists of Lycra, mesh, neoprene and 3D-printedframes. Like the dress, it also integrates shape memory alloy, but uses it toopen vents in the bra to provide a cooling air flow when it detects changes inthe wearer's perspiration, breathing and body temperature. It will also shut offthe vents when things cool down.
If that sounds like a good idea to you,unfortunately neither the bra or dress is available to buy – at least not until the Intel Curiemodule receives the required authorization from the FCC.