An experiment to increase public safely for women charts their responses to different odors.
As part of a project run by MediaLAB Amsterdam that explored how to enhance the safety of women in public spaces, one team created a necklace that reminds its wearer to project a more confident appearance using various scents. PosturAroma encourages women to improve their posture, which the company hopes will have the effect of making them look more confident and powerful on the street, and lessen the chances of them being the target of an assault.
The team tested 11 different aromas, some of which included lemon grass, mandarin peel, and strawberry, to see if there was any difference in which ones participants associated with safety. While the working prototype is rather bulky, and likely to attract even more attention in public, the design could quite easily be packaged into something much smaller given more time and development.
Unlike other safety devices such as rape alarms, and similar devices that attract attention, this particular idea is aimed at prevention. In addition to public safety, improved posture can also have knock-on effects when it comes to confidence in other areas of life, as well as general wellbeing.