Nail Polish: The New Pepper Spray

| By Editorial Staff

When a girl goes out, there are certain things she might take with her for safety’s sake; maybe a whistle, a can of mace, brass knuckles. Yet these things aren’t just inconvenient (realize that a tiny clutch can hardly hold a lipstick and folding money) but they also feel a little less than dainty when you’re all dressed up for dancing. So we’re happy to see some options on the horizon.

One award-winning invention gained global attention in 2014. The brain child of a group of college students, Undercover Colors is a nail polish that changes color when it comes in contact with three commonly known date rape drugs; Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB (liquid ecstasy).

The idea netted the inventors both award money and some investment capital. According to the North Carolina State University website, the team “has been approached by most major cosmetics players, who have expressed interest in manufacturing and selling the product.” While the team claims to be too overwhelmed with requests for comments to provide an update, interest remains high with continuing comments on their product site as well as their Facebook page.

Meanwhile, a very real option exists with drink coasters from Safety Girl. The set of six coasters not only reminds friends to watch each other’s drinks; each one also features test spots to get real results in seconds. The instructions are simple: “If you or a friend feel that you have been drugged, take a straw and put a drop from the tainted drink on each test pad – if it turns blue, your drink has been tampered with.”

There’s still a concern that you might lose your coaster, and there’s no word on whether it could fail from dampness, however American ingenuity ensures that continued product improvements in this area are still top of mind. Mike Abramson has been working since 2012 to bring us the Drink Savvy cup, which promises to actually change its design if your drink is tainted.

According to the DrinkSavvy website, the company is continuing in its efforts toward “developing trendy new DrinkSavvy cups, glasses, and straws/stirrers.” The difference between these items and the coasters is, “You get 100% effortless and continuous monitoring of your drink throughout the night, because the same DrinkSavvy drinkware that you are already drinking with is also the color changing material that makes invisible drugs visible.”

Another product in the development stage promises to help both men and women discretely track their blood alcohol level throughout the night. This invention comes in the form of a temporary tattoo with a tiny circuit board that connects magnetically to the tattoo.

The technology behind this device is deceptively simple; researchers already know blood alcohol content (BAC) information can be obtained from the sweat on your skin. The tattoo stimulates a small amount of sweat production to determine your BAC, and the circuit board transmits that data to a smart device or laptop.

The beauty of this idea is that the information doesn’t have to go to your own device – users can set it up to appear on a friend’s phone or some other responsible party. That way you don’t have to depend on your own common sense to decide whether that last cocktail was one too many.