These 5 Gadgets Alert Potential Victims
With drink spiking on the rise, these products are challenging would-be bad guys by empowering their users against date rape drugs.
New lines of defense against drink spiking and date rape drugs have been making waves in the news for the last few years. Since 2014, researchers and product designers have been creating products that are tackling the problem of drink spiking head on.
The reality of encountering a spiked drink is startlingly high for college students. A 2016 study of three U.S. college campuses revealed that 1 in 13 students had reported or suspected that they had been drugged. While alcohol is still the most common date rape drug, researchers found that Rohypnol, Xanaz, Ecstacy (MDMA), and even Cocaine were being commonly used to spike drinks.
Many of these products are still in their research & development stages, while others are creating the foundations of the Drink Safe product marketplace.
From Nail Polish to Smart Straws, these innovative products look to empower their users against the potential dangers of date rape drugs in their drinks.
Drug detection at your fingertips…literally
Probably one of the most hyped about products on our list, Undercover Colors is a nail polish that will change color if it comes in contact with date rape drugs.
This wearable technology was developed by a team of engineering students at North Carolina State University. Their idea is quite simple: Dip a finger into your drink and the nail polish will change color if it detects the presence of Rohypnol (“roofies”), Xanax, and GHB.
The FDA has been putting the breaks on products like this as the detection chemical comes in contact with skin and food. However, with a lot of investment capital at their back, the engineers of Undercover Colors are still pursuing the idea and promise big things in the future.
This Coaster Has Eyes On Your Drink When You Don’t
Unlike the other products on this list, the Brio Smart Coaster, developed by New Potato Technologies, Inc., doesn’t test for date rape drugs; it prevents the drugs from getting in your drink in the first place.
The app controlled Brio Smart Coaster utilizes drink safety technology to detect motion of the device after it has been placed on a drink and the user activates “Guard Mode” in the app. If motion is detected the device triggers an alert notification to your phone and lights up the coaster’s 24 LED lights in a “caution” pattern.
The smart coaster can be stored in a purse or back pocket. Brio’s app is currently only available for iOS, but will be coming to Android in the not too distant future.
Sipping through this straw is a smart idea
What started as a contest entry, ended up skyrocketing these three young entrepreneurs into front page news with their idea of turning a straw into a weapon against date rape.
Their Smart Straws detect the most common date-rape drugs when the straw is placed in a drink. The straws will turn blue if they detect Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) or Ketamine in a nonalcoholic or alcoholic drink.
The Smart Straw is still in its infancy, but these young ladies are making headway by developing a business plan for their company and will keep pursuing their venture.
This coaster acts like a Drug Lab Kit
via Tampa Bay Times
The Drink Safe coaster from Drink Safe Technologies is currently the only product available that tests for two commonly used date rape drugs, Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and Ketamine.
To use it, you simply place droplets of your drink onto the test area and wait a few minutes to get the results [the circles will turn dark blue]. You have to wait until the test is dry to get results, so they ask that you be patient.
The Drink Safe coaster does not test for Rohypnol and other commonly used date rape drugs and might not work with certain cocktails, which may be a problem for some users.
A flashdrive look-alike can tell if your drink has been drugged
The Personal Drink ID, or pd.id for short, is a small device that, when immersed in a drink, can identify if the drink has been spiked. The device utilizes proven technology used by drug enforcement agencies to determine is date rape drugs are present in a drink.
Like the Brio Smart Coaster, this device utilizes LEDs and an app to alert a user if their drink is unsafe. If a drink is flagged as unsafe, an LED light on the device will turn red, and send an alert text to your phone.
They designed this flashdrive look-alike to be battery powered and reusable. You just need to rinse it with water [and occasionally with antibacterial soap] between uses.
Last December, their team received two grants from Canadian government agencies towards their research. Hopefully, with the funding and support of their government officials, the pd.id will become a reality.
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