Protective clothing goes on the attack


June 4, 2004

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In the past Gizmo has investigated clothes that monitor your health, give you a massage, repel insects and even provide the body with sustenance, but the No-Contact Jacket concept takes the role of "Smart Clothes" in an entirely new direction by delivering a defensive electric shock to anyone who comes into unauthorised contact with the wearer.The defensive jacket is designed to call attention to violence against women and provide an alternative means of defence against unwanted contact.

When activated by the wearer, 80,000 volts of low amperage electric current pulses below the surface shell of the entire jacket and the resultant shock would disorient anyone touching the outside of the jacket, providing an avenue of escape in threatening situations.The Jacket is powered by a one 9V alkaline battery and an electrically insulated rubber layer is incorporated in the design to protect the wearer, although it's recommended that contact with exposed body part like the face be avoided so that the defence doesn't back-fire.

Another safety consideration is rain, which is kept away from the outer shell by a teflon coated waterproof supplex nylon coating.Funded in part by the MIT Council for the Arts with support from the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, video of the No-Contact Jacket "assault-test" is available at the site.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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