New Deal Design is one of the best design firms in the biz. It's the big brain behind Fitbit's devices, and has also worked with Intel, Lytro, and many more tech companies on products.
Its latest design is the Buzz wearable, aimed at stopping sexual assault on campus, the company revealed to Dezeen. New Deal Design collaborated with Buzz, the company, on the now-completed conceptual design and is continuing the design process, it tells Wareable. The device comes with a blood alcohol sensor to keep track of how drunk you are. The idea is that drunkenness has an effect on the capacity to consent to sexual activity, and that telling people that they or their partner can't consent could help curb sexual assault at college parties.
Read this: Can wearables help stop sexual assault?
If you meet a fellow Buzz wearer, you can bump your devices together to share your capacity to consent. If one of you enters the red zone where you're too drunk to consent, your partner will get an alert.
As your potential partner could ignore that alert if they've got bad intentions, your friends will also get a notification when you're in the red zone - which is probably more helpful. You can also send your friends your location, and there's an SOS feature that will alert them in case you're panicked or in duress.
New Deal Design head Gadi Amit told Dezeen that it was important for the company to get the Buzz to appeal to men so that they'd wear it. That's why the Buzz can also be used for flirting. If you fancy a fellow Buzz wearer, you can send them a gentle vibration to clue that you're interested - skipping that whole reading body language thing.
The Buzz was actually designed by a team that was made up of three men and three women, ensuring experiences from both genders could be built into the device.
There have been wearables that can track blood alcohol level, like the Proof, but they are far bulkier than the Buzz, which means some serious miniaturization must have happened to fit a blood alcohol sensor in the slim design of the Buzz. The Proof, by the way, still has not shipped to backers a year after crowdfunding ended.
Update: New Deal Design tells Wareable that the device is targeted to release sometime between Q1 and Q2 in 2019. Buzz wants to distribute the wearable for free with $1 a year subscriptions, a similar strategy to WhatsApp's initial revenue model. Giving the Buzz away is probably for the best, as the device's features require a large group of people actually wearing them.
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