Sally Hall: ‘Chastity’ bra’s love test won’t get my support any time soon

Erin O'Connor.
Erin O'Connor.
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Now women who are completely devolved from their own brains have a solution to that thorny problem of whether or not to get jiggy with a new man. Ask your bra.

In fact, don’t even bother asking.

Your bra will let you know whether you love him, all by itself.

Last week a Japanese lingerie company launched its ‘chastity’ bra for the technological age.

(Though in reality this product has its roots firmly in the Dark Ages…)

The True Love bra stays firmly fastened at all times – unless an in-built sensor detects a sudden spike in the wearer’s heart rate. Should this occur, the data is directed to a specialised smartphone analysis app, via Bluetooth. The app calculates the ‘True Love Rate’ based on changes to the heart rate over time. If Prince Charming has got the lady’s ticker truly racing, the bra will ping open.

But in reality, disasters are bound to ensue....

‘Ooops. Sorry I nearly took your eye out. I was actually just running for a bus.’


‘It’s not you. It’s me. Or rather my bra.’

Even worse:

‘Argh, how do I get this blimmin thing off? I’ve been wearing it for the past five years.’
Anything that tries to undermine a woman’s autonomy to decide if she wishes to bestow her virtues on a particular young man is a Very. Bad. Thing.

‘Until now the bra was just an item of clothing to remove,’ mused the smart-bra’s inventor. ‘But now it has become an instrument to test for true love, and a friend to women around the world.’

I would prefer my friends to ask me nicely before they pop open my clothing.

And I view all underwear as performing the handy function of providing me with comfort and support, rather than simply offering an obstacle course for inept men. 
To be fair, this is not the only example of wearable technology on the market – and other products are slightly less objectionable.

Like the photovoltaic bikini that charges phones and other devices by harnessing solar power.

The bikini is covered in film strips which use the sun’s energy to charge a USB port. 
Definitely a talking point on the beach – and possibly a source of income at festivals.

Handy, as you’d need to do something to recoup the $200 cost.

Or what about the suit, created by South African designer Daan Roosegaarde, that turns transparent when you tell a lie.

It should be mandatory for all MPs to wear one when speaking in the House of Commons.

Another less-bad idea is ‘smart’ jewellery that can tell when the wearer has been out in the sun for too long.

Although an ability to tell the time has always been a reliable indicator of such a complex and thorny issue.

Ultimately, clothing that promises to be cleverer than its wearer is always of questionable value.

I still remember when the concept of ‘smart’ clothing was first popularised in the Eighties. At that time it was the height of cool to own one of those baggy heat-sensitive T-shirts....for about five minutes.

Boys who bought these garments in the expectation of being swamped by eager school girls itching to put their hot little hands all over the fabric were instead treated to chortles of derision when the heat-sensitive material picked out prickly patches under their armpits that only grew in size and intensity as the mockery mounted.

The only smart fabric that ever really impressed me was created by the London School of Fashion together with Sheffield University, and curated into an excellent exhibition by design firm DED Associates.

Using nanotechnology to imprint denim with photocatalysts added to the cloth via a washing cycle, the clothing subsequently ‘sucked up’ pollutants from the atmosphere. This prototype Catalytic Clothing could soak up the carbon dioxide produced by a family car just through being worn for a few weeks. That’s what I call smart clothing. Not a brain-bypassing bra in sight.

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