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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 5/23/2003 12:13:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/23/2003 12:14:43 PM EDT by mmx1]
Not a bad idea, but it's a good thing the idiot researchers aren't in charge of distribution.
When charged, the jacket sparks and emits an "evil" crackling sound. Whiton said the "really evil crackling sound" makes him flinch involuntarily: The shocks he received testing the jacket conditioned him to associate the sound with pain.
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Hey, somebody should let the VPC know about this. It SOUNDS "Evil"! Ban it! [url]http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,58914,00.html[/url] A new anti-assault device for women wards off potential assailants with an 80,000-volt electric shock. Dubbed "exo-electric armor," the No-Contact Jacket looks like an ordinary fashionable women's coat. But an inner layer of conductive fiber carries a low-amp charge that delivers a nasty but non-lethal shock to anyone who messes with its wearer. "It's kind of like sticking your finger in a wall socket," said Adam Whiton, one of its designers. "It hurts. If someone tries to grab you from behind, they get the full, hefty shock out of it. That's really painful." Designed by Whiton, an industrial designer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Yolita Nugent, head designer at Advanced Research Apparel, the jacket is intended to be an alternative to handguns, pepper sprays and rape whistles. Video A flip of a switch repels would-be attackers. Unlike weapons and sprays, the jacket can't be grabbed from a woman and used against her. And it's not as lethal as a gun. "We initially thought the idea was a little extreme," said Whiton. "But we got a lot of positive feedback. It defends, it protects and it gives confidence to women. By encasing the whole body in this electric fence, it forms a barrier that people just shouldn't enter into." The jacket is made from Aracon, a conductive fiber developed by DuPont, which is sandwiched between an inner rubber lining which protects the wearer from shocks and an outer layer of waterproof nylon. Powered by a regular 9-volt battery, which builds a high-voltage but low-amp charge through a series of step-up circuits, the jacket uses technology similar to the circuitry in stun guns and bark-deterring dog collars. While the charge is enough to deliver a jolt, it won't kill anyone, Whiton said. To prevent accidental discharges, the wearer must arm the jacket before it can deliver a shock. A lock on the sleeve must first be opened with a key, and then the charge is built up by holding down a button inside one of the sleeves. The idea is to charge it only in threatening situations or when the wearer feels vulnerable, Whiton said. A woman might arm it when she's walking to her car at night, for instance. When charged, the jacket crackles audibly. A pair of slits in the outer lining shows the electric arcs that course across the entire middle layer. It's an impressive display of the jacket's power. Video When charged, the jacket sparks and emits an "evil" crackling sound. Whiton said the "really evil crackling sound" makes him flinch involuntarily: The shocks he received testing the jacket conditioned him to associate the sound with pain. [red]The jacket is designed for women only. Its small size and narrow armholes are intended to prevent men from using it as an offensive weapon. Whiton conceded that women could use it offensively, and that it would be hard for police to arrest anyone wearing one.[/red] Three female volunteers currently are testing prototypes in the field. The designers plan to put it into limited production by the end of the year. It should cost around $1,000. They are approaching apparel manufacturers who might mass-produce it and thereby lower the cost. Whiton said he has consulted with lawyers about potential liability issues, and has been given the green light. As long as the jacket is not used to commit a crime, there shouldn't be any problems, he said. Steve Tuttle, a spokesman for stun-gun manufacturer Taser International, concurred that Whiton and Nugent were unlikely to face lawsuits as long as the jacket is used for self-defense. "We've never been sued for civilian usage or product liability claims, and we've been in business for nine years," he said. However, attorney Margot Barg, a product liability specialist based in the San Francisco Bay Area, said claims may arise if the wearer is shocked. "You might run into some problems if it shocked the person wearing it," she said. Although the jacket is designed for women, there might be a market for a men's version. Tuttle said Tasers originally were marketed as self-defense devices for women, but the company sells as many to men as to women. [red]In fact, statistics from the Department of Justice show men are more likely to be victims of violent crime than women.[/red] In addition, most violent crime against women is committed not by strangers, but by people they know. According to the Department of Justice, 5.7 million violent personal crimes -- rapes, robberies, assaults -- were reported in 2001, the most recent year for which figures are available. Men accounted for 3.1 million victims and women for 2.6 million. Of the crimes against women, 32 percent were committed by strangers, while the remaining 68 percent were committed by family members, friends or acquaintances. One of the jacket's testers, geologist Elizabeth Zbinden, said she wears the jacket frequently -- not for protection, but because it looks good. "It's an attractive jacket," she said. "It's the highest fashion, (the) most haute couture thing I own." Zbinden said she charges up the jacket only to show it off to friends, who are "suitably awed." The only person she's shocked has been her test subject -- her husband. "I've never had an occasion to use it," she said. "I guess I don't lead a very hazardous or frightened life. I'm not the kind of person who carries pepper spray in my purse.... My life is such that I don't need to be afraid."
Link Posted: 5/23/2003 12:18:23 PM EDT
That is just DUMB.
Link Posted: 5/23/2003 12:27:06 PM EDT
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