The Bionic Bra is Here, and It Could Revolutionize Your Boob Management Game
The future is here, and it's coming to your lingerie drawer: a team of Australian researchers just unveiled a prototype of the "Bionic Bra," a piece of wearable technology lined with sensors that adjust the garment's fit and support based on movement and exercise. For more than 15 years, researchers at the University of Wollongong have been hard at work coming up with ways to solve many of the common complaints women have with their bras, focusing on fit, support, comfort, and breathability.
The Bionic Bra is the latest development in an ever-growing list of wearable tech, which in recent years has come to include t-shirts, watches, glasses, and shoes, among other innovations of varying usefulness. Despite the fact that 15 years of research on how to build a better bra sounds like something straight out of a junior high boy's daydreams, a commercially available version of the Bionic Bra could actually wind up becoming one of the most revolutionary upgrades in terms of both fashion and function in the past several decades.
“Unfortunately, the most supportive sports bras tend to be the most uncomfortable to wear. Making matters worse, [Breast Research Australia] research has found that 85 percent of women are wearing bras that do not fit or support their breasts correctly,” Professor Julie Steele of Breast Research Australia (BRA) said in a University of Wollongong press release. “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. However, when finished, the Bionic Bra will transform bra design."
According to Professor Steele, ill-fitting bras can cause long-term bodily harm, such as neck and back pain, as well as permanent numbness in the fingers as a result of a strain on the nerves of the shoulders.
A close-up of the Bionic Bra prototype.
The bra works by utilizing a series of motion sensors designed to detect every bounce, jiggle, and sway; adjusting for comfort and support, accordingly. For example, if you were to hop on the treadmill for a quick couple of miles, the bra can sense that you're running, and tighten to provide additional support to minimize jiggle, thereby saving you from discomfort and distraction. Once you're finished running, the bra will detect this and automatically loosen, adjusting to a more desirable level of support. All this is done using what are known as smart fibers, as well as 3D printing and artificial muscle technologies.
From the corset to the wrap, from an underwire to a sports fit, bras have been a source of constant evolution. In terms of engineering, the Bionic Bra is ready to go. What's left is developing a way to incorporate this impressive, new technology into a comfortable, commercially viable casing. There's no telling when the Bionic Bra will make its way to store shelves, but when it does, it will come as a welcome source of relief for countless women worldwide.