Smart Wear as a Self-Defence Weapon
In old sci-fi movies, you can sometimes find jackets or coats that electro-shock people who touch the wearer in an unwanted manner. This electric-eel-ish way of self-defence is actually not a bad idea. It could help against the rising numbers of harassment towards women. Some technology-focused fashion designers are actually working on stuff like this.
Take for example Amisha Gadani from Alfaro Lab UCLA. Her recent work is a playful exploration of animal self-defence mechanisms incorporated into fashionable cocktail dresses.
The Blowfish Dress inflates when she’s startled, creating a bright and threatening silhouette that can intimidate an attacker. Well it’s probably more a gesture than an effective way of self-defence. However, it still could help against the pathetic drunken guy almost every party has to offer, who, out of his desperation and lack of respect for the female body, tries to grope women’s behinds.
Another design might be a little more intimidating: the Porcupine Dress. There is an old tale Arthur Schopenhauer once told: porcupine as a metaphor in regards to the challenges of human intimacy. If porcupines want to cuddle, they have a problem. Hence, the porcupine dress helps you to keep your distance. When it gets touched, sharp spikes shoot up from the back of the dress.
There’s also a Skink-Dress inspired by lizards. Grab it and the part you grabbed just falls off like the tail of a lizard, so the wearer can run away. And, the Cuttlefish Dress is inspired by, yes: cuttlefish. They squeeze ink into their enemies’ eyes to escape. Unfortunately, the dress is actually not working on the basis of ink. Bummer. It just releases balloons. We see the similarity but no real self-defending effect.
Maybe we should just get back to the future and finally invent a functional electric-eel jacket that works like the Tesla Coils in Command and Conquer II.