Glad to hear that the image shown is not the image they were planning to bring to market. There would be no way any one would carry around a device like that--far too big and scary looking.
I suppose that there's high utility in using a pepper spray gun correctly, but I guess I'm of mindset that we don't want to make it too easy. I could see one of these things whipping out on the soccer field as two over-the-top parents from opposing teams go at it. For me, the coolest thing about this innovation is the lessons it can bring in terms of mechatronics design. That's what is most important.
I see this as useful for litigation on both sides, as long as the video doesn't conveniently "disappear".
I think there needs to be a reevaluation of how many cell-connected devices one must carry though. If this device is going to call the police for you, one likely has four or more cell-service devices at close hand - the pepper spray can, a cell phone, a tablet such as i-pad, and the on-star service in a car.
I'd rather see this device be blue-tooth connected to my phone.
Communicating through Bluetooth is a good idea. Then you could have an app on the phone that communicates the way you want to. If it is the local police, then that is who is called. I guess that the "issue" is the storage of the video. Perhaps there could be a clooud service for storage of the video. Of course, if you have a service that is set up the way the designer has specified, then you do that. I
Cost is an important consideration. Pepper spray is about $30. And once you use it, it has to be replaced. I'm sure that with GPS, rangefinder, microprocessor, etc, its cost will be way north of $30. Plus, how much is a refill?
So how much is your life worth? Some would say "Priceless", but I don't see many people with a dedicated bodyguard. So cost is an important consideration. Bullets cost pennies, but could be as high as $1.00 each time you shoot one. So even if I have to use 5 shots to bring down an attacker, it's still a pretty good bargain. Add $60 every 5 years to renew my carry permit and it's still a bargain. OK, so the gun cost a lot of money, but some guns are good investments. Pay $400 today and you might get $600 for it in 10 years or less (I have an SP101 I paid $199 for and now is worth $320+). If they can bring this to market for $100 or less with refills at $20 each, they might have something. Otherwise, it's just an Engineering exercise.
This year, Design News is getting a head start on the Fourth of July celebration. In honor of our country and its legacy of engineering innovation -- in all of its forms -- we are taking you on an alphabetical tour through all 50 states to showcase interesting engineering breakthroughs and historically significant events.
Earlier this year paralyzed IndyCar drive Sam Schmidt did the seemingly impossible -- opening the qualifying rounds at Indy by driving a modified Corvette C7 Stingray around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
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