Reports of sexual crimes against women in India and all around the world, can be seen in news channels, papers and websites almost everyday, and it seems like there’s no end to this epidemic. Most of us feel miserable, helpless, curse the politicians, the police, the society, the laws and move ahead after a few moments, as if it was just another news.
But Manisha Mohan, a research scholar at the MIT is one of those few, who decided to act, by developing a technology, which can surely help reduce the problem, if not stop these kind of crimes against women. She has created such a device called Intrepid: a smart wearable sticker that’s designed to prevent sexual crimes, with a loud sound to frighten the attacker and simultaneously sending a rapid alert to the victim’s family.
All one needs to do, is to connect it to your phone through Bluetooth and stick it on your clothes. It also requires your phone to be registered on an accompanying app, which can be downloaded by you. There are two modes in which the sensor works: First is the Active mode, where if the victim becomes unconscious, the sensor can find out if the assailant is trying to remove her clothes. The victim’s phone gets a message to verify if it’s being done with consent. If there’s no reply in 30 seconds, a loud sound by the app alerts the people around the place, if any. Second one is the passive mode, wherein the victim herself has to activate the safety mechanism on her clothes.
When asked what inspired her for the innovation, Manisha points to her experience as an engineering student in Chennai. She says, “Female students on campus were not allowed to work beyond certain hours. You were expected to be back in your dorm by 6:30 pm. Instead of asking them (women) to remain indoors I think we should provide more safety for them. We don’t need body guards, I think we should have the ability to protect ourselves”
The researchers who have tested Manisha’s technology say that the suggested solution can be effectively used to fight against sexual abuse of children, attacks on college campuses, abuse of the elderly and the disabled. According to them, it can easily be used with modern clothing to identify and respond to the first signals of a sexual crime like forcibly removing the clothes, etc.