Introducing another startling love related invention that has come out of where else but Japan. Here we have the world’s first “smart bra.” This undergarment created by Japanese lingerie company Ravijour claims it knows how women really feel, so much so that the bra opens when she finds “The One.” But how does it know? When we fall in love, hormones secreted increase the heart rate. The bra has a built in sensor that detects this heart rate increase and opens the bra.
The garment works like a modern day chastity belt, keeping the girls locked away until the man of her dreams walks in and quickens her pulse. When her heartbeat reaches the crucial level the bra opens to end sessions of awkward fumbling just before the penultimate moment of truth. Sure there are phone charging rain boots and hats that help you find Wi-Fi. But this may be the strangest wearable tech around. Ravijour has its own sexuality specialist on staff who states on the company’s promotional video, “When we fall in love, we experience an instant boost in excitement. That feeling is unlike any other excitement we encounter in life.”
The company’s hopes for this item are not small. Saying of his invention the creator of the smart bra stated, “Until now, the bra was just a piece of clothing to remove. But now it is an instrument to test for true love … destined to become a friend of women around the world.” What isn’t discussed is if the bra will open at times when the lady’s heart rate increases yet isn’t in the throes of passion with her beau? When she is just told of some horrible news, when she’s seeing a Thriller with friends or her parents, when something startling happens at work or she gets to be a guest on a game show. Will her bra open at these inopportune times? What if she wants to get involved with someone physically but isn’t in love? Where is this technology leading also? Certainly we don’t want too much tech in the bedroom.
There is fear of too much being revealed, especially through social media websites. In the age of “revenge porn” we are reminded that positive technologies often do have unforeseen consequences. Nor do we want to export all of our decisions about our bodies to some gizmo or smart device with a socially constructed idea of what courtship and love should be like. Sometimes the best lessons come from when we are unencumbered by outside forces such as societal views of what is proper when. Sure the smart bra seems fun, and is probably just a publicity stunt to get exposure, but we have to protect ourselves from the encroachment of technology into the more private realms of our lives. To learn more about technology’s impact on modern dating read, Love in the Time of Algorithms: What Technology Does to Meeting and Mating by Dan Slater.