Success of Live Strong wrist bands as framework
Given the tremendous success of the "Live Strong" awareness campaign in bringing the issues of cancer to the fore, through a process of leveraging the power of individuals' willingness to wear a distinctive wrist band, this campaign was able to do a number of things using a single tool. The wrist band not only signaled to others that one had donated money to a very broad and universal issue but it also created a sense of belonging to a strong community, for those who wore them. It also operated as a passive recruiting tool. It was fashionably novel, yet conventional enough that adoption was not a big barrier, it was durable and it was a gateway for the Armstrong Foundation to reach deeply into many communities across the entire globe.
And so taking the wristband a step further, given the tremendous leaps forward in mobile communication technologies along with video capabilities, i see the wrist band as an effective tool in helping to reach a number of the design goals established for this project.
Alert Band Sketch
Firstly, the band would be outfitted with a GPS location device that could be quickly and easily activated, sending location information to law enforcement as well as using hyper-location technologies, as a way to alert others (possibly using SMS communication channels) in the immediate area of that person's specific location. Secondly, it could operate as an incident surveillance tool. When the alert is activated the wristband could begin to record its surroundings through periodic image captures that can be immediately uploaded to a central data base, which would act both as a deterent to would be attackers but also as a way to gather critical, in the moment evidence of the surrounding environement as well as possibly identifying/outing the attacker if an attack were to take place.
The wrist band not only signals to would be attackers that a wearer of this band is not "alone" but it acts as a real life line for an individual who is in trouble. It is a passive device that can be worn fairly inconspicuously and can be used as way to keep people connected to a larger support network. It also creates a visual badge that communities can wear to demonstrate soladarity with a cause.
This device's ominpresence could create a space in which Benthem's Panopticon Effect can apply its psychological and behavioral power to create self moderating deterents for would be attackers in the first place.