A bracelet that measures the wearer’s blood alcohol levels and monitors their capacity to consent is in the works.
Essential reading: Wearable breathalysers, gadgets that know if you’ve had a few too many
Buzz comes from New Deal Design, the studio behind the design of Fitbit activity trackers. Its main novelty is that it goes a step further than wearable alcohol monitors currently on the market. The brightly coloured unisex bracelet hopes to make the concept of consent much clearer by monitoring if you are too intoxicated to think clearly.
In a sense, its a type of alert system that lets you and your date know if your capacity for consent is diminished. And if both people are wearing Buzz, bumping them will exchange info not only on capacity, but also the desire to consent.
There is an SOS function, too. Giving the device a simple squeeze informs your designated network that you are in an uncomfortable situation.
The gizmo and accompanying smartphone app are the brainchild of gynecologist Jeniffer Lang and her associate Robert Kramer. They say there is a high correlation between instances of sexual abuse and heavy drinking. This can be a particular problem on college campuses.
New Deal Design is helping to make the idea into an actual product.
“We’re not claiming that this is the answer that will save the world from all sexual assault, but it could be a very good tool for preventing some of them,” says founder of New Deal Design Amit Gadi
“We are hopeful that the wearable will help people get along better at parties and prevent miscommunications by providing positive signals and/or cautionary signals if necessary, and therefore keeping its wearers informed and safe.
Designers say Buzz should not be looked at as a modern version of a chastity belt. It can go the other way too, letting wearers send flirtations signals to each other. This gives it other functions that go beyond helping to prevent sexual assaults. The designers feel this will be an incentive for men to wear the bracelt as well.
The wearable will be free, apart from the $1 annual subscription. The device is targeted for Q2 2019 launch. For more information head over to newdealdesign.com.
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