A touch-sensitive dress shows that women are not exaggerating about sexual harassment at nightclubs.
A smart dress created for a project called “The Dress for Respect,” tracked how often and how intensely women in Brazil were groped on an average night out at a club or party.
The special dress was embedded with sensor technology.
The sensor technology that was embedded into the garment tracked both touch and pressure. This information was immediately sent to a visual system so that the project researchers could track the harassment in real time.
The smart dress was created by advertising agency Ogilvy for a campaign carried out by beverage company Schweppes. Three women who were a part of the test were each given a touch-sensitive dress to wear to a party. Throughout the night, the researchers watched a heat map version of each woman’s dress light up in the areas where the women were being groped, grabbed and touched.
The smart dress data revealed that in less than four hours the women were touched a combined total of 157 times.
The heat map revealed that the women were mostly touched, grabbed or groped on their arms, lower backs and backsides. Shockingly, in just 3 hours and 47 minutes, the three women were touched a combined 157 times. This means that they were touched over 40 times per hour.
While this number might not come as a surprise to the many women who have sadly experienced sexual assault and harassment at nightclubs, it was reportedly a shock to several men who were at the same party as the “test” women, and who were brought in by the researchers to view the experiment.
The goal of The Dress for Respect project was to open up the eyes of men who initially expressed in interviews, prior to the experiment, that harassment was not a major problem for club-going women.
After the launch of the Schweppes campaign, loads of people and organizations had something to say about it and the smart dress. Huffpost commented that “Schweppes’ activation shows the impact of harassment in nightclubs.” While Adweek said that “It illustrates something important about why #MeToo exploded with such force.”