This Smart Dress Spotlights The Harassment Against Women

Women wearing sensors embedded dress are touched without permission over 150 times in a social campaign by Schweppes against harassment.
Jessica Miley

Schweppes is using technology to highlight a massive social issue. The drinks company has developed a dress containing sensors that measure how many times a woman is nonconsensually touched on a night out.

Schweppes Brazil released a video the shows the process of creating the dress as well as what happens when it is worn out by three separate women.

The sparkly cocktail dress is embedded with sensors that detect touch, that data is transferred via WiFi to a monitoring team.

The disturbing video sees the women encounter unwanted touches from men over and over again.

Shocking video shows how women are continuously groped

Combined the women experienced 157 unwanted and nonconsensual touches from men in just over three hours.

The harassment of women is a global problem, but this campaign set in the nightclubs of Brazil shed light on an issue that is often overlooked.

The ad claims that 86% of Brazilian women have indicated that they have been harassed in nightclubs.

Schweppes teamed up with the Brazilian marketing company Ogilvy Brazil to make the video.

Wearables could assist in the prevention of violence

The popular drinks brand ends the video by proposing that interactions between people need to be more respectful. This isn’t the first example of wearable technology used to prevent or monitor violence.

U.S based CAP Science teamed up with analytics company SAS to develop a wearable system to reduce the risk of domestic violence. It is used in cases where an act of violence has already occurred.

Both the victim and perpetrator are required to wear the device to ensure the perpetrator stays a safe distance away from the victim.

The devices look similar to a Fitbit and work with SAS software to continually collect data on both users location.

“If the wearables are tampered with, police and the victim are immediately notified,” says Kimberly Calhoun, founder of CAP Science.

“If the offender is going near somewhere he shouldn’t, or is in the victim’s vicinity, the police and the victim receive an alert.”

The alert means officials can respond in time to a potentially violent situation. The data recorded by the devices is also admissible in court if the perpetrators do violate any legally binding orders.

Calhoun was motivated to develop the technology after her sister was the victim of a domestic violence incident where her partner broke a restraining order.

While there are some flaws with the system, it is just one of many new ways wearable technology can be used to protect against violence.

As the wearable technology industry grows there will more and more applications and breakthroughs.

Calhoun describes how they had to totally create a completely failsafe method of monitoring in order to provide a true sense of safety to the devices users.

“The system had to allow the devices to communicate reliably even without the network. We had to ensure signal reliability.

I knew we couldn’t depend on cell technology because coverage is an issue, so I filled that gap.