A ‘shocking’ solution to India’s crime problem?

click to enlargeThree engineering students at India’s SRM Institute of Science and Technology in Tamil Nadu (Chennai) developed and won the 2013 Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award given by SRISTI (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions) for a body-worn device designed to help defend women in the case of personal attack. The device is a camisole-type undergarment which is wired with sensors and electric shock circuit board at the bosom, insulated by a polymer, with attached GPS and GSM modules. Pressure in the bosom area, consistent with the usual frontal attack, triggers a 3,800 kilovolt shock [likely a notation error–probably 3.8 kV, see Comments–Ed. Donna]  up to 82 times and also activates the GPS.  The designers known collectively as SHE (Society Harnessing Equipment)–Manisha Mohan, Niladri Basu Bal, Rimpi Tripathi, the first and third listed are women–are to be commended.

India’s huge problem with male-on-female crime was highlighted at the end of 2012 with the assault of a young couple in central New Delhi, resulting in his severe injury, her rape and death. It also put an international spotlight on India’s wretchedly poor policing and law enforcement resulting in a reported reduction of tourism by at least 25 percent. The official Indian Government response was tepid at best–including ‘working on’ a prototype safety watch that would take photos and send texts in case of attack. It was TTA’s weekend outrage for 2 February for its ‘sheer howling incompetence’, stimulating quite a reader discussion. And no, this device won’t save or prevent the vulnerable (female and old) from attack, but the electrifying element of surprise may give an edge to the victim permitting a quick getaway. Digital Trends (India), Techpedia India (SRISTI), SHE team profile/submission Another hat tip to Toni Bunting, TANN Ireland.

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Comments

  1. Charles Lowe

    Could I suggest that the original copywriter has got his volts and kilovolts in a bit of a twist – as the dielectric breakdown of air occurs at c 3,000kV/m, a 3,800kV shock would sustain an electric arc of over one metre in air, which would require both bulky equipment to hold the charge and do dreadful things to the wearer on discharge. Perhaps it’s a more manageable, and doubtless nevertheless extremely effective, 3.8kV?

    • Donna Cusano

      Thank you for spotting this–I thought the 3,800 kV number was high but not being an electrical engineer, could not see this was implausible. Only the Digital Trends article referred to it, not the student spec sheet. It could be a misunderstanding of how periods and commas are used for decimal points in different countries’ customary use, though usually it would not be brought out to three places.

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