Edinburgh student’s ‘sex pest’ wristband to beat harassers

An Edinburgh student has developed electronic wrist bands to help wearers fend off sexual harassment during nights out.

Monday, 20th May 2019, 7:55 pm
Creative Degree Show 2019 - Beatriz Calvarho. Beatriz is a final year Product Design student who has designed an anti-harassment wristband.

Displayed at the Edinburgh Napier Degree Show exhibit as part of her final project at University, Lux was designed by 21-year-old product design student Beatriz Carvalho to highlight unacceptable behaviour on nights out and provide a “safety net” for people who may find themselves in an uncomfortable situation.

The prototype wristbands can be connected through an app that groups of friends can link up to before going out.

The band can then be activated with one tap, which will alert the rest of the group to the situation and potential need for help.

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In the case of a more urgent matter, a double tap of the wrist band will make it light up, highlighting the situation of distress to the bar or club staff as well as deterring the perpetrator.

Carvalho drew from personal experiences of harassment when developing Lux and wanted to create something that would educate people about what behaviour is acceptable and unacceptable in a night-life setting, as well as give wearers of the wristbands a sense of security and safety.

“I experienced harassment while I was at high school and there are certain triggers that bring that horrible memory back. It’s the same for people who have experienced something like this in a nightclub or at a gig. No one should be scared of going out and Lux could be the difference for many – it could act like a safety net,” said Carvalho.

The discreet black wristband was designed to be worn by people of any gender and age who feel they would benefit.

She said: “Through my research and the findings from my dissertation, I settled on creating something that was educational as well as preventative. The aim of Lux is first and foremost to help keep its wearer safe.

“It’s also there to identify behaviour on nights out that is going too far and to help educate the perpetrator that this sort of thing isn’t acceptable. It’s important that people who do potentially harass and step over the line learn to not do this sort of thing again – that’s really the only way that things will improve.

“Sexual harassment and behaviour that makes people uncomfortable is a complex subject. Many people want to shy away from it and pretend it doesn’t happen. However, I’ve always been of the view that it is good to talk about these sort of things so that more people know what sort of behaviour is acceptable and what isn’t. I think Lux has the potential to play a big part in allowing these conversations to happen.”

Lux will be displayed alongside hundreds of other final projects at the Edinburgh Napier Degree Show at the Merchiston Campus in Morningside from May 17-24