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Buzz: The wearable that aims to prevent sexual assault

While wearables that help you get in shape, sort out your posture, or keep your spending under control are well and good, Buzz has a slightly loftier goal.

This wearable wants to help young people stay informed about the issue of consent and do its part to stop sexual assault.

Created by New Deal Design, Buzz is a wearable that shares information about the wearer with either their date or friends, thus helping them to stay safe when they may have diminished capacity to consent.

The product was made with the help of gynaecologist Jennifer Lang, who has also worked with victims of sexual assault. Along with her business partner, Robert Kramer, Lang wanted to battle the scourge of sexual assault on American college campuses, where there is a strong correlation between alcohol and assault.

“They came up with this idea that maybe we could tie it all together and create some kind of alert system,” New Deal Design head Gadi Amit told Dezeen.

“We took it to the next level.

“We wanted the system to intervene a lot earlier in the story of the night and create a positive tool for partners to start having a discussion about the capacity to consent a lot earlier.”

The device is able to read the wearer’s blood alcohol level through their skin. But rather than simply be a wrist-worn RBT, Buzz is made to work as part of a network.

By syncing a device up with a variety of others’, you can keep a network of friends informed as to your level of intoxication – and thus ability to consent – as well as having a “pinch” function, in which giving the device a squeeze informs your network that you are in an uncomfortable situation.

“The device allows one person to check whether another is not too drunk and be aware that they be crossing the line of the capacity to consent,” Amit said.

“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.”

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Joe was Junior Vice-President at Compu-Global-Hyper-Mega-Net until it was bought out by Bill Gates. He now subedits for Conversant Media and considers it a step up.

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