Team of Vanderbilt engineers unveils 'smart underwear' - WSMV News 4

Team of Vanderbilt engineers unveils 'smart underwear'

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

When you think of Vanderbilt University, groundbreaking medical research, a top-notch law school and other superlatives may come to mind, but now there's something else.

Vanderbilt engineers say they've figured out how to create sophisticated mechanized undergarments, also known as "smart underwear."

The team says the new technology can help prevent back stress with just a double tap. The device has two fabric sections for the chest and legs that are connected by straps across the middle back.

It works only when you need it, and a double tap engages the supportive straps. Another double tap releases the straps so the user can sit down.

Users tested the smart underwear by picking up 55-pound weights at different angles. Wearing the device helped reduce muscle strain by as much as 45 percent.

It's probably not coming to a department store anytime soon. A patent has been filed, and the research team is trying to connect with commercial partners.

The team unveiled the device last week at the Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics in Australia. 

The project is funded by a Vanderbilt University Discovery Grant, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a National Institutes of Health Career Development Award.

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