Some Cupid seekers may wear their heart on their sleeve but for a true test of love look no further than the bra. That’s right. Love might be the foundation of a solid relationship but the groundwork for love is the all-important foundation garment.
In rather, shall we say, uplifting news, a Japanese lingerie firm has created a high-tech bra that will only unclasp when it registers that the wearer is truly in love.
No unhooking for hookups. No unclasping for mere clasped hands and flirtation. No coming undone for giggles and hair twirling that only leads to one’s emotional undoing. No settling for tacky come-ons by barfly boobs looking to get something off their chest.
Nope, this bit of delicate unmentionable is making a woman’s availability very, very mentionable — no ignoring a brassiere spontaneously snapping open in the middle of speed dating! — and the company is adamant that its heart monitoring technology will avoid even the closest of, er, clothes calls.
Company Ravijour says its “smart bra” monitors the wearer’s heart rate, sending the info to a smartphone app via Bluetooth. When the app is satisfied the racing heart rates indicate love rather than flirtation, boredom or pity, the bra’s front clasp will glow pink. When the heart pitter pats reach a required rate, the bra will unclasp and automatically pop open. So much for Victoria keeping her intentions secret.
The company clams the product will protect women from unwanted advances, like some sort of new-fangled chastity belt for one’s girls. But what if the heart races from less-amorous reasons like roller-coasters, the occasional road rage or job interviews? Imagine what happens when a bra flies open just as a hiring manager inquires about what a job candidate can bring to the position.
Hackers have already figured out ways to command others’ computer-operated vehicle systems. Isn’t a bra hack just a few key strokes and coding away? Teenage fumblings in movie theaters and back seats will be replaced by a more digitally minded road to second base.
And what if a woman just wants to break free of the bra’s constraints? Will a little mental fantasizing be required to reach the necessary heart rate or is there be some sort of emergency escape cord?
This isn’t the first attempt to turn a bra into a multi-functional device. Remember the WineRack, a sports bra with built-in 25-ounce bladder to hold one’s favorite adult beverage? It’s a flask! It’s a cup enhancer! Drink enough from this device and the inebriated wearer better hope it also has some technological way to combat beer goggles.
Meanwhile, Microsoft researchers, too, looking into a smart bra embedded with heart sensors that would help track emotion as a way to combat stress overeating.
So why not a love bra?
Sadly, the gadget is not actually for sale. Seems the company only created and publicized the concept bra to support the company’s bottom line and push up sales of its other. For those who prefer the game of love, this news is no big loss. They’d prefer not having other body parts determine if they’re head over heels. But at least those who don’t quite trust their gut instincts can take solace that the first step — a prototype — exists. These love-sick optimists can consider the cup half full.
Michelle Durand’s column “Off the Beat” runs every Tuesday and Thursday. She can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (650) 344-5200 ext. 102. What do you think of this column? Send a letter to the editor: email@example.com.