Innovation That Matters

Wearable device

Wearable safety adhesive can detect an assault

Work & Lifestyle

Student in India invents a wearable device that could help save the vulnerable from sexual predators.

A university student in India has invented Intrepid, an adhesive device that can detect assault when the user is unable to defend themselves. Intrepid, a small, slim and stick-on device can be attached to any item of clothing, or even a handbag.

Manisha Mohan, a grad student at MIT’s Living Mobile lab created the device after experiencing safety issues herself when studying late in India. Compelled to want her independence, she penned this innovation, which is made up of two conductive elements, a non-conductive strip and hydrogel which is an adhesive. The device can be washed, as long as the mechanical part is removed and and is small enough to sit inside a bra or the strap of a handbag.

The device works by either pressing a small button when the user feels unsafe, or if they are unable to, the mechanism can detect senses or signs of assault, such as forced undressing. On activation, the user’s mobile phone will be sent a message asking whether consent has been issued. If no response is received within 20 to 30 seconds, the user’s phone will vibrate or sound loudly. Failing this, text messages are sent to a select few alerting them that the user’s safety is at risk. A similar format ensues after the button has been pressed. The user’s phone will also record the audio in the presence of the user if it is alerted to an incident.

Manisha is particularly interested in the most vulnerable groups, targeting the elderly, children and university students. So far, research has included the interviewing of more than 300 sexual assault victims. Although it is not yet widely available on the open market, it could be the future recommendation by the police to young women travelling alone at night and young adults who tend to get intoxicated easily. There’s already a nail polish in the US, which claims to change colour when their drink tests positive for drugs. What other life hacks can keep us safe?



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