Ever the innovator, Nike has taken things next level when it comes to its women’s sports apparel and, in particular, sports bras.
When we say next level, we’re talking futuristic, innovative and inclusive — and dare we say superhuman and otherworldly? At least, that’s what it feels like in terms of how much effort has been expended to ensure comfort and proper fit when it comes to women’s activewear and sports bras.
To create clothing that not only offers a more customized fit but also feels good, Nike enlisted the help of a “brabot.” And yes, it’s exactly what you think: a robot that tests bras. Meet Haley.
Haley is the thermoregulation mannequin used for Nike sports bra technology research and development. Haley even sweats, so that Nike’s product development team can get a better idea of what moisture-wicking materials are needed and how they should be placed to maximize comfort.
In addition to Haley, Nike also built a physical “boob robot” complete with parts that mimic actual breast tissue.
A Nike spokesperson recently told Well + Good, “We have worked to understand how her bra affects her breast tissue, where she sweats and gets hot, how she moves, her movement efficiency, where she experiences discomfort, how she feels.”
Along with Haley and Brabot, Nike has also progressively developed its use of body scan artificial intelligence. This technology uses 3D measurements of thousands of women to create body maps to more about the female body. Through this artificial intelligence, Nike is able to learn and effectively mimic a woman’s body and the way breasts move when their bodies do.
During an event celebrating Nike’s 50th anniversary, the brand’s women’s research director, Dr. Bridget Munro, explained, “We know more about the female body than ever before. Our investment in women’s research, sport science technology and data visualization give us the ability to better understand her needs and create the best products possible for her,” according to Well + Good.
This latest development notably coincides with Nike’s remarkable progression in inclusion amidst the women’s apparel space, which began when it started offering plus-size options up to 3X in 2017.
Using the brabot and AI technology to give women better options when it comes to undergarments and activewear will undoubtedly be a game-changer in the world of bras, how they fit and their evolution into the future.