Researchers and engineers at MIT have developed a wearable sticker that can detect sexual assault in real-time, sound the alarm and send out messages to members of the victim’s ‘safety circle’ for help.
According to statistics on the MIT lab video (see video at the bottom), a woman is raped every two minutes in the United States and it’s the same case in India.
But what makes it so sad is the fact that in India, only six percent of these assaults are reported.
Manisha Mohan, a researcher at the MIT lab explains that the project labelled Intrepid, is aimed at helping women have more freedom in the society. She believes women will always feel safer with this safety device on them. Related: Ava Bracelet Detects Fertile Window and Tracks Pregnancy
Manisha grew up in India. According to her, most women in India can’t stay outdoors or visit some places after a certain time of the day, a lifestyle which has become a form of limitation for them at work despite their intellectual abilities.
Sexual assault is among the most common human right violations listed by the United Nations. And this list is based on reports. When we incorporate the fact that many victims do not report sexual abuse, the numbers become unbelievable.
Some victims do not report sexual abuse because they believe (or have been taught by either culture, religion or circumstances to believe) that they are inferior to the miscreant — a way of thinking that makes them feel the malefactor has some sort of right over them and that they may not get justice even when they do report. Even children suffer sexual abuse, some from their biological fathers. The pain and suffering is more severe when it is coming from someone who is supposed to love and protect you. The physical and psychological effects of sexual assault are always painful and difficult to deal with. Women need information and protection and an intelligent wearable sticker can go a long way.
The wearable sticker can be attached to any clothing article: any type of underwear, bra or shirt. The sticker has lining of hydrogel which makes it stick on the clothing.
Hydrogel is not sticky so your material remains neat when the device is removed.
How it works
The system works in two ways. The first is passive and the second is active. The passive is for conscious victims who can activate the safety mechanism by themselves.
The active procedure is for unconscious of weak victims. It activates the system once it detects a certain form of stretch or force on the victims clothing.
Once a person is attacked or forced, the device detects it and sends a signal to the victim’s smartphone.This is for the victim to respond if she is aware of the situation. If the victim does not respond to the signal in seconds, the smartphone makes a loud buzzing sound.
After 20 seconds, messages will be automatically sent to members of the victims ‘safety circle’ with the victim’s geo-location. A member of the victims ‘safety circle’ will also receive a call simultaneously.
The wearable sticker is made up of four layers, a conductive fabric, a non-conductive fabric, an electrode (also called conductive patch) and hydrogel.
The conductive layer is the part of the device that detects the assault or forceful removal of clothing. The non-conductive layer prevents short-circuit. The electrode also conducts and the Hydrogel is the part that allows you to stick the device to any clothing article.
This is a great development. The system should be installed in offices, homes and all buildings and not just limited to smartphones. Like Mohan mentioned, it should be properly backed by law.