An Indian-origin MIT researcher has developed a wearable sensor that can detect sexual assaults

An Indian origin woman, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)  has developed a wearable sensor which alerts the targeted person's safety circle by sending them her location details.

Manisha Mohan developed a wearable sensor. MIT Media Lab.

Manisha Mohan developed a wearable sensor. MIT Media Lab.

Manisha Mohan, whose research interest includes wearable technology, has developed a hydrogel sensor strip which can be attached inside any clothing. The sensor in the strip sends a message to the user's phone. Since sexual assault happens in real time, she said technology works in two ways, active, which is dependent on the external environment such as removal of clothes, and the other is passive where the user is conscious and can press the button in case of any such violation.

She elaborates, that the moment someone stretches or pulls the fabric of the cloth, the sensor sends an alert to the user. A message pops on the phone screen, asking 'Do you consent or not?'
If the user does not reply within 30 seconds, the phone starts buzzing, for the wearer, it is an alert. However, if the user does not respond to the message in the next 20 seconds, an alert is send to all the people in the safety circle along with a geo-location. Out of them, one person gets a call from the app.

The moment the person receives it and picks up the call, he or she can listen to the noise around and the conversation gets recorded, which can be used legally as evidence. Since it is a washable clipper which can tag onto any material, made up of a conductive-non-conductive-conductive layer and attached with a hydrogel, an electric short isn't possible.

According to MIT, "every 98 seconds, a person in the United States is sexually abused. Every 16 hours, a woman in the United States is murdered by her romantic partner or ex-partner. Sexual abuse, assault, and harassment are regarded as some of the most common human rights violations in the world by the United Nations." Manisha Mohan, a former automobile engineering student from India, who tries to intersect social issues and technology, says, "female students in campus were not allowed to work beyond certain hours. As a first year student you were asked to be in your dorms around 6:30. In the name of safety woman have been told to stop working or stay indoors. Instead of asking them to stay indoor, we should have more safety."

Published Date: Jul 31, 2017 08:50 am | Updated Date: Jul 31, 2017 08:50 am