A bra with electronic sensing technology integrated in its fabric to provide a comfortable option for women to monitor their heart rate while they exercise has been unveiledtoday (12 December) by Textronics.

The bra is Textronics' first consumer product made specifically for women and has been branded as NuMetrex.

It provides the traditional comfort and support of a sports bra with the added technological benefits of built-in accurate heart rate monitoring.

Designed to work with the Polar WearLink transmitter that snaps directly into a special compartment in the bra, NuMetrex eliminates the need for a separate heart rate monitoring chest strap and all the headaches that go with it.

The sensors in the fabric pick up the wearer's heartbeat and relay it to the WearLink transmitter in the front of the bra. The transmitter captures the heart rate information and sends it to the heart rate monitoring watch, which displays it instantaneously.

In addition, the transmitter can communicate with some fitness machines like treadmills and elliptical trainers that have integrated monitoring devices.

Stacey Burr, chief executive of Textronics, said: "We plan to continue using our technology to create new garment styles and monitoring functionalities that enable health and well being."

The bra uses an advanced seamless construction for second skin comfort and is made with quick drying nylon and Lycra.

Prices range from $45 for the bra on its own to $155 for a complete system including bra, transmitter and watch with an added calorie counter feature.