Development Intelligent Garments for Well Being by Means of Applying Space Technology
Space Bra is a wearable vital-functions monitoring system which embraces three sectors, medical area, sports area and fashion area.
The idea was to develop an undergarment designed to safeguard health and guarantee comfort.
The bra becomes a kind of personal assistant capable of providing information about the present state of health of the person wearing it.
A good way to prevent disease is to wear a daily-use garment like a bra which has an "intelligent" built-in monitoring system which makes early diagnosis possible.
Designing a monitoring system means dealing with a wearable computing theme in which mobility is fundamental. The idea of wearable computing is that it should be an integral part of our daily clothing, becoming a "second brain" as Steve Mann, professor of electronic engineering at MIT in Boston, says, where sensitivity is considered something that is added to human intellect.
The idea is to imagine different types of users and different use interfaces and take advantage of the conductor and superelastic properties of Nitinol to pick up changes in form occurring in certain places when certain diseases break out (medical area),to check heartbeat (sports area) and to change shape of the material to provide more or less support (fashion area).
Nitinol is an Shape Memory alloy was considered as a suitable material because it permits the acquisition and transmission of data, partly because it is biocompatible and sensitive to heat.
The potential applications of the design are multiple. One essential aspect is the simplicity with which the system can be used. All that is needed is a removable pivot containing the electronic elements and a data-reading device.
It is also important that it be easy to wear - which depends on the fabrics and the models - that it respond to functional requisites - wide straps which don't interfere with the lymphatic system and that it be roomy so as not to limit movement.