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Today in Boobs

Technology Does Weird Things: Oculus Rift and Gender, Robot Ethics, and True Love Bras

What has future technology done for us lately? Well, Daft Punk won five Grammys in a single year.* Lets take a look!

The Oculus Rift, in case you’re separated from the gaming community by a foot of tempered steel at all times, is a headset/visor combo making news by being the vertigo inducing virtual reality experience that everybody who bought a Nintendo Virtual Boy really wanted. Folks are doing a lot of interesting things with it, like making skydiving games with strange suspension rigs and immersive ports of Skyrim. The design team BeAnotherLab has done something a bit different.

They strap two people, one male and one female, into an Oculus Rift equipped with external cameras. The feed from the cameras plays in the visor they are not attached to, in order to show participants them the literal perspective of someone with another body, and another gender. The folks in the Rifts agree to mirror each other’s movements, and organizers will do things like place a mirror in front of both participants, or a clear pane of glass. BeAnotherLab hopes their “experiments” will encourage participants to develop “empathy for the other.” Business Insider has some video of the project (it’s NSFW for nudity).

Meanwhile, in the realm of wearable technology, and the country of Japan, comes your next “technology unnecessarily applied to bras” news item. The Ravijour is a bra that only unclasps if it “senses” that its wearer is experiencing “true love.” Its ad purports that it is intended to save women from predatory men by I guess… I’m not even sure. But it’s good news for any evil step-mothers or fairies who are having trouble summoning the magical talent for a good “cursed until true love’s kiss” spell and are looking for a technological work around.

And finally some positive news: there are rumors that along with all the advanced robotics companies, like Boston Mechanics, Google has been gobbling up lately, they’ve also created a complementary ethics board to oversee their new robotics division. And if that doesn’t send shivers of excitement down your spine, then you were not as into Asimov as I was as a teenager.

*Susana has since been informed that Daft Punk are not actually robots.

(Ravijour via Fashionably Geek)

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  • Anonymous

    Sounds like those bra-wearers would have a really hard time taking a shower.

  • Anonymous

    I wish they’d stop adding technology to the existing bras and start trying to make bras that actually support and don’t cause massive amounts of pain after 5 minutes of wear.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    This is the best resource for finding a bra I’ve ever had.

  • Anonymous

    I know. I’ve been trying to find one that fits using that subreddit, but I’m not having much luck. High-set, narrow-root, small band, large cup. When I do find one that’s close, all my dresses and tops (aside from t-shirts) are cut too low and the bra is visible. Not to mention the expense of trying to find the right size. I’m just going to stick to sports bras.

  • Anonymous

    No problem: I only shower when I’m in love. >.<

  • Knour1945

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  • Anonymous

    Nobody is switching genders, people are switching sexes

  • Anonymous

    Er… yes? It didn’t say anything about switching gender.

  • Anonymous

    “The perspective of someone of another body, another gender”
    Nobody is experiencing the perspective of another gender

  • Anonymous

    “the perspective of someone of [...] another gender” does not mean that they are inhabiting the other person’s gender.

  • Alaina Kraus

    Have you tried Lunaire? It sounds like you’re of a similar build and they work really well for me, as well as being in the $28-40 price range. I know Macy’s carries them now, but their site is here:

  • Anonymous

    Thanks! I’ll be sure to check them out!

  • Alaina Kraus

    You’re welcome :)

  • Anonymous

    You know, it would be a lot easier if people with specialized knowledge (in this case, of gender studies) would just come up with new words rather than repurposing existing words and then acting superior when others continue to favor the common usage in their everyday speech. “Gender” only started to be distinguished from “sex” among gender/sex researchers in the 50s and didn’t catch on even within that field until the 70s. Everyone outside of that specialized field has continued to use the terms as basically interchangeable, so the specialist distinction serves only to confuse rather than illuminate.

  • Anonymous

    The problem is that they are only inerchangeable if you are considering cisgender people.

    Most people outisde of “specialized field” still think cisgender is a cursing or something =P

  • Anonymous

    Ha! Sounds good to me: *R_Dave stubs his toe* “Ow! Cis, that hurt!”

    Anyway, what I’m saying is that the words “gender” and “sex” were used interchangeably until the concept of distinguishing psychological identity and body morphology/physiology was really understood. When that distinction was introduced to the relevant fields of study, I think it would have aided clarity to come up with a new term (much as “cisgender” and “transgender” are themselves neologisms) rather than repurposing the existing term “gender” to refer to the psychological identity.

    Unfortunately, they didn’t do that, so now we’re in a situation where the common usage differs from the usage by those with specialized knowledge of the field. Even people who get the concept that there’s a difference between identity and physiology are generally unaware that specialists use the term “gender” to mean the former and “sex” to mean the latter.