Shocking New Jacket Hits Street

A new anti-assault device for women wards off potential assailants with an 80,000-volt electric shock.

Dubbed "exo-electric armor," the No-Contact Jacket looks like an ordinary fashionable women's coat. But an inner layer of conductive fiber carries a low-amp charge that delivers a nasty but non-lethal shock to anyone who messes with its wearer."It's kind of like sticking your finger in a wall socket," said Adam Whiton, one of its designers. "It hurts. If someone tries to grab you from behind, they get the full, hefty shock out of it. That's really painful."

Designed by Whiton, an industrial designer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Yolita Nugent, head designer at Advanced Research Apparel, the jacket is intended to be an alternative to handguns, pepper sprays and rape whistles. Unlike weapons and sprays, the jacket can't be grabbed from a woman and used against her. And it's not as lethal as a gun.

"We initially thought the idea was a little extreme," said Whiton. "But we got a lot of positive feedback. It defends, it protects and it gives confidence to women. By encasing the whole body in this electric fence, it forms a barrier that people just shouldn't enter into." The jacket is made from Aracon, a conductive fiber developed by DuPont, which is sandwiched between an inner rubber lining which protects the wearer from shocks and an outer layer of waterproof nylon.

Powered by a regular 9-volt battery, which builds a high-voltage but low-amp charge through a series of step-up circuits, the jacket uses technology similar to the circuitry in stun guns and bark-deterring dog collars. While the charge is enough to deliver a jolt, it won't kill anyone, Whiton said.

News source: Wired

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