Eye Sightings

The Consumer Eyes Blog

Back Away From the Jacket

Fashion, it appears, is merging with self-protection.

Consumers who may have once turned to mace or a black belt in karate to ward off would-be predators, will soon have their backs covered with a shocking new jacket. Yes, that kind of shocking.

The No-Contact jacket sends out an 80,000-volt charge to anyone who touches the wearer for more than two seconds, so say longer than a pat on the back or a slight nudge. The shock is reportedly strong enough to knock the attacker to the ground. Both stylish and functional, No-Contact is a joint venture by MIT researcher Adam Whiton and the apparel designer Yolita Nugent.

The electrical jacket is still in the prototype stage, but if and when it comes out, it's sure to make waves. What if it malfunctions and zaps the wearer? Does the shock give the victim enough time to get help? And will consumers ever get past the sticker shock? The jacket, after all, is expected to cost about $1000.