SRM University engineering student Manisha Mohan’s new bra’s primary purpose isn’t to lift or smooth or add two cup sizes — it’s to protect its wearer from rape. Her Society Harnessing Equipment (or SHE, for short) bra is packed with a well-concealed electric circuit that can unleash a 3,800 kilovolt pressure-sensor-generated shock on an attacker, reports Vocativ.
The shock isn’t enough to “immobilize” the assailant, but it will most definitely severely burn the attacker, and allow for the victim to make a defensive move. It also features embedded GPS technology that will simultaneously notify the victim’s emergency contacts and authorities of her location once the brassiere has been triggered. According to the American Bazaar, while the possibility of false alarms has been raised, the bra will not accidentally shock someone who is not applying extreme force:
While setting off false alarms is a stark possibility, Mohan and her team have calibrated the bra so that it only responds to a higher amount of pressure, than say, a friendly hug. A power switch is also present that allows the user to turn it on while in high-risk neighborhoods.
Mohan and her fellow students Niladhri Basu Bal and Rimpi Tripathi developed the SHE bra in 2012 as a response to India’s on-going issues of rape and violence toward women and received a Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award the following year. Market prices are currently up for debate, but Mohan says one of the prototype’s original concerns — comfort — has been addressed. “It is light like any other bra, and one really cannot [tell] a difference,” an unnamed tester told Vocativ.
Mohan is currently with fellow chosen innovators as scholars in-residence at India’s Rashtrapati Bhavan through July 20. The Business Standard reports that the scholars “are among the first to get an exposure through the innovation scholars-in residence scheme launched by the President [Pranab Mukherjee] in December 11, 2013.” According to a release from Mukherjee’s office, “During their stay at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Innovators will interact with concerned ministries, research institutions, etc. for possible support for product development and commercialization of their products.”
With any luck, inclusion in the program will put Mohan one step closer to bringing the SHE bra to market, and as Bustle puts it, “is hopefully a sign that India’s government is starting to take the widespread rape in the country seriously.”