Vive is a smart wearable concept with integrated sensors that monitor the wearer’s biometrics related to alcohol consumption and keeps them synced up to their designated party group, so friends know if something’s wrong. It is designed to be desirable to young people, while keeping them safe and connected as they party. Vive amplifies existing social networks, making sure individuals don’t get separated from their group. When things get out of control, Vive makes sure a user is not alone.
CLIENT: UW/MICROSOFT | YEAR: 2014 | ROLES: INTERACTION DESIGN, MOTION DESIGN, UI/UX, PRODUCT RESEARCH
OTHER CONTRIBUTERS: KRISTINA COLLEEN, DAN DOAN, COURTNEY DUTTON, GWENYTH HARDIMAN, ABIGAIL STEINEM
Vive was presented at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit as a part of Design Expo 2014 (Vive is presented at 2:00:00). This project was done in response to the theme "Billions of Sensors". We were excited and honored to be able to represent the University of Washington, as well as the United States, among 9 other selected top interaction design programs from around the world. Vive was awarded "Best Product Concept" at the Design Expo 2014.
We began our research by speaking with SARVA, the Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Activists, at the University of Washington, and they highlighted the reality that alcohol heavily contributes to sexual assaults that happen to and by college students. In fact, at least half of sexual assaults involve alcohol. Frighteningly, alcohol is the weapon of choice for people whose aim it is to rape and assault.
No one blames young people for wanting to have a good time. We recognize that drinking and partying happen. It’s not going to change, but it could definitely be safer. This is our problem space. Our aim is to intervene in these risky, alcohol-fueled social situations to reduce the occurrence of sexual assault and keep young people safe, without killing the fun, and while actually enhancing it.
There is a larger picture of sexual assault. We’re not naive about this and aren’t claiming Vive can stop all sexual assaults. Once a predator has decided to attack and the circumstances allow for it, there’s very little that can be done that doesn’t leave all the burden of help on the victim themselves. With Vive, we’re intervening here earlier in this timeline, crucially, before an individual has been removed from the safety of their social network.
Each person's body processes alcohol differently. Because of this, Vive has multiple sensor safeguards in place. A transdermal alcohol sensor monitors ethanol levels excreted through the skin. Another sensor monitors dehydration levels. If your dehydration or alcohol are at dangerous levels, your party group is alerted. A gyroscope and accelerometer are used to sense a total lack of motion; for example if the user passes out. Bluetooth 4.0 is used to connect bands to phones, and bands to other bands. From the phone, GPS and Wi-Fi triangulation provides the location of friends in need, and is only activated when an alert goes off. A majority of these technologies exist in their current forms and are ready for implementation. We forsee miniaturization for the transdermal alcohol sensor, which is presently large and bulky.