University of Washington students presented the non-working prototype, called Vive, at this year’s Design Expo at Microsoft’s Research Faculty Summit. Sensors on the bracelet can detect your alcohol levels and dehydration. It connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone app, which can itself link to social networks to sync up with your friends through the night. The band also has some fun features, like connecting with new people by touching bands.
Once the band detects you’re drinking, it will occasionally vibrate to “check in” with you. All you need to do is squeeze the bracelet to let Vive know you’re still doing well and are in control. If you don’t squeeze the band, your friends will be notified, so they can come find you and make sure you’re okay.
It’s the latest in high-tech devices designed to look out for you at bars. There’s a sensor (and even a nail polish) that can detect date rape drugs. But each time a new device comes out, it ignites the same debate: Should women be held responsible for preventing sexual assault, or should we be making a larger effort to educate men?