The team of four Materials Science & Engineering majors have developed a nail polish that changes color when exposed to date rape drugs, including GHB, Rohypnol, and Xanax. The wearer can stir her drink with a finger. If her drink has been tampered with, she'll know within seconds.
On their Facebook page, they write "With our nail polish, any woman will be empowered to discreetly ensure her safety by simply stirring her drink with her finger. If her nail polish changes color, she’ll know that something is wrong."
Team member Ankesh Madan discussed the origins of the company's ideas with Higher Education Works: "Undercover Colors started out as an idea born in my co-founders’ active imaginations," he said. "As we were thinking about big problems in our society, the topic of drug-facilitated sexual assault came up. All of us have been close to someone who has been through the terrible experience, and we began to focus on finding a way to help prevent the crime."
They also "wanted to focus on preventative solutions, especially those that could be integrated into products that women already use. And so the idea of creating a nail polish that detects date rape drugs was born."
Not only does the new product create a major line of defense against assault -- which 1 in women will experience in their lifetimes -- but the detectors like the polish can also protect against health reactions the drugs can cause. According to The Office On Womens Health, these drugs, when mixed with alcohol, can kill you. GHB, for example, has been shown by the University of Oxford to slow the elimination of alcohol. This can cause respiratory depression and death.
"Our goal is to invent technologies that empower women to protect themselves from this heinous and quietly pervasive crime," the founders say.
Undercover Colors Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/undercovercolors/info