Nail Polish That Might Save Your Life

veronica marsLiving with a kitchen of limited size, and also being on a budget, means having to be strategic. No single-utility items, a friend told me once, sternly. That was her policy. She refused to pay for any gadget – a bread-maker, a George Forman grill, a pineapple slicer — that did only one thing, because no number of delicious cuts of pineapple could make up for kitchen clutter. Appliances must multitask! Be useful, or begone.

I thought about that when I read this piece about nail polish that can detect date rape drugs.

Undercover Colors is currently raising cash to refine its prototype and pay executives. According to a securities filing, the four-person company, which recently appeared at the K50 Startup Showcase, just raised $100,000 from one investor, with $150,000 left to sell in the round. And it has additional cash from competition. The company won the Lulu eGames this spring, sponsored by N.C. State’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, a contest challenging students to design working solutions to real-world problems.

Though the article raises some questions, like how could be it be savvy enough to detect roofies and also nontoxic, and how much would Smart, Potentially Life-Saving Nail Polish cost — too much for your average college student?, it’s an intriguing idea. Veronica Mars would approve, and so, I imagine, would my clutter-conscious friends.

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14 Comments / Post A Comment

Goodie (#5,447)

I wonder what colours they would sell it in, and what colour it would change to.

Also I would feel weird about putting my finger in my drink to check it. But maybe that’s just me

garli (#4,150)

@nnlsbin Wouldn’t you rather feel weird about your own finger in your drink than get roofied?

potatopotato (#5,255)

@nnlsbin: You could also just put it on, say, 2 accent nails instead of using it for a complete manicure, especially if it’s expensive. Does your left pinky still match the right ring finger? Yes? Great!

Goodie (#5,447)

@garli I would rather not get my drink roofied but still I would feel weird about putting fingers in drinks.

Thursty (#7,023)

This seems like a good idea, but sometimes reading about new, improved antirape devices makes me feel like we’re distracting ourselves from bringing about some new, improved antirape attitudes from men.

emmabee (#2,008)

@Thursty This x1million.

iseeshiny (#6,178)

@Thursty Yes. Not to mention I have this enormous suspicion that the company was started by a group of men who were sitting around going, what do the womens like? Nail polish! And not getting raped! Let’s put it together and get rich!

@Thursty Exactly it’s like the article from last week about giving young women the option to use an IUD. Neither of these solve the real root cause.

CaddyFdot (#2,686)

@iseeshiny The idea/development is from a group of NC State students, though they *are* male, from what I can see. The investor(s) funding it may not have thoughtful ideas beyond “ladiez + nail polish = $$$” but I feel like we could give the students more credit, seeing that they are likely to have friends/siblings who are or are at risk of becoming victims, and that may be their inspiration. http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/blog/techflash/2014/08/david-gardner-investor-undercover-colors-nc-state.html

CaddyFdot (#2,686)

@theotherginger Yep, those are very, very good points and I agree fully. I just thought the original idea didn’t come from a mindset as callous and moneygrubbing as iseeshiny suggested.

potatopotato (#5,255)

@Thursty: I agree that the message should be “Don’t Rape” rather than “Don’t Get Raped,” but until that’s the case, here’s a tool for women that doesn’t tell them to change the way they dress or where they go or what they do (or otherwise suggest that they give up something they like to do in order to avoid being attacked). All it does is offer a simple, discreet way of testing their drink should they want to, and they don’t have to carry around a special glass or testing strip or anything. It’s stuck to their nail, it goes where they do, it fits into their life exactly as they’re already living it. That’s a valuable option.

guenna77 (#856)

@TheDoctorsCompanion sometimes you need to have a short-term tool to help you while you solve the long-term problem. crutches don’t make my broken leg heal, but they help me get around in the meantime, and that’s better than nothing.

@guenna77 That’s true, but if you keep tripping over something that keeps causing you to break your leg, shouldn’t the object be removed. I get that this a good thing, but it a good thing in the sense that we’re saying, “Men are going to try to rape women, so let’s give women the tools to prevent said rape.”, which on the surface sounds good. But I would rather focus on getting men to not rape women. It’s just something to mask the real problem.

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