OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more



(1) View all

Recent comments

(3) View all

Luke commented on VIKELA ~ protect our loved ones

Very cool idea! One issue with stationary distress buttons is that they have to be in the right place at the right time, which they rarely are. A lot of US college campuses have these and there have been many reported instances in which rape or sexual assault have occurred very close to these distress buttons but the buttons weren't pressed because even being 10 ft away renders them unhelpful. You would have to literally be RIGHT there when being attacked. Also a strategic attacker will be opportunistic, waiting until the victim is not near a button. They are, however, useful if there's a suspicious follower and the victim-to-be has time to run to a distress button. For unanticipated attacks, a mobile or wearable distress button may be more effective. Feel free to check out my idea: ROAR, which is wearable.

All of these concerns can be assessed through prototyping. Some people left some nice ideas for how to do this easily, such as using hollow pasta :)

Avi, this is a wonderfully simple and elegant concept. It could be effective, inexpensive and beautiful. A couple practical concerns that I don't think have been mentioned yet (but it's possible that I missed them):

- I'm trying to picture these breaking and if my imagination serves me, I think the woman may need to remove the bracelet and hold it in her hand to strike the attacker. If it's on her wrist, impact will just push the bracelet against the wrist, where it won't break unless there's a pretty powerful impact. It needs to be struck in a vulnerable way, where there's some space for it to break. One way would be for the woman to clutch the bracelet on one side, turning the other side into a fragile bridge with space to break (hard to put in to words but I hope you get what I'm saying). Prototyping will be necessary to see how it needs to be positioned in order to break.

- If the user does, in fact, need to remove the bracelet and hold it before striking, that demands a level of dexterity and length of time that will probably not exist in a split-second attack.

- Men are usually taller than women so it may be difficult for a small woman to break the bracelet on a large attacker's head if it's out of reach.

- In the heat of the moment, it's easy to imagine this being deployed to the wrong part of the attacker's body. A desperate swing of the arm is unlikely to fall exactly where it needs to in order to blind the attacker.

- You spoke about the deterrent effect of the visible bracelet. I don't think an attacker with physical strength and/or a weapon is going to be deterred by a bracelet. Rather, if it is visible, that gives the attacker a clue as to how to disarm the victim, such as grabbing her by the arms so that she can't strike with them. Or in general being prepared to duck/dodge swings because the element of surprise has been lost.

Just a few thoughts. Hope it's helpful! I'd be happy to talk more. Also, my idea is a little bit similar to yours. Feel free to check it out. I'd love your feedback.