Remember handmade friendship bracelets? Well, the high-tech Vive bracelet brings friendship bracelets to a whole new level.
Vive is a wireless bracelet that calculates your blood alcohol level and dehydration level. It can also sense any unusual changes in motion, like if you pass out. If your levels are off, the bracelet notifies your friends, and they can find you via the bracelet’s integrated GPS.
“Think of Vive as a Fitbit for the intoxicated,” OZY said.
The Vive bracelet was designed by University of Washington students and presented at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit Design Expo in 2014.
For college students enjoying a night out drinking, the bracelet could be a lifesaver. It allows the wearer to notify friends, who also need to have a bracelet, if they get in trouble and need help. For instance, if they are unable to ward off a sexual advance, the bracelet can help them quickly reach out to friends. OZY said:
The bracelet uses Bluetooth to connect wrist to wrist, and a simple squeeze on your hand will create a mirroring squeeze on their arm, an instant alert that you want to be rescued. The bracelet will softly vibrate all evening; you check in with a squeeze every hour. If you don’t respond, your friends’ arms vibrate harder and they’ll know that you need attention.
Features such as a gyroscope and accelerometer [that] sense motion let them know if you’ve passed out, and they can track you down with GPS using the Vive app.
For now, Vive is a nonworking prototype, GeekWire reports. But, the publication notes, “the technology exists to make it work — including sensors to monitor alcohol and dehydration levels.”
One of Vive’s other elements has nothing to do with preventing sexual assault or a compromising situation for the user. Instead, it’s more of a fun factor, which is meant to entice more people to embrace the technology.
“Vive would also connect to a smartphone and let users make connections at a party by tapping their wrists together with people they meet,” GeekWire said.
Melanie Becker, a sexual assault therapist from the Women’s Center, told OZY that she has some concerns about the bracelet.
This bracelet is getting at bystander intervention and maintaining a system of accountability. I think this is an addition to what’s being done but not instead of. It’s important to have the old school check-in and physically see the other person, to provide a concrete degree of safety.
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