Undercover Colors is a startup that's aiming to develop a nail polish that changes color when it comes into contact with known date rape drugs.
Online dating has made it easier for complete strangers with shared interests to find each other, but a lack of quality control can mean the services are unfortunately used by criminals, facilitating date rapes. Innovations such as pd.id — the personal drug detection kit — have already aimed to arm women with the ability to detect date rape substances in their drinks. Now Undercover Colors is a startup that's aiming to develop a nail polish that changes color when it comes into contact with known date rape drugs.
Developed by a group of male North Carolina State University chemistry students, the idea was prompted by the fact that each member of the team knew a friend who had been assaulted after having their drinks spiked. The problem comes from the fact that date rape detection is still an under-developed technology and is difficult to implement without arousing the suspicions of the potential assailant. Instead of requiring women to carry around an extra tool, the team is working on a nail polish that reacts to the presence of roofies. Although the product is still in the development phase, the team say that users will need to place their finger into the drink for the polish to work, although this is a maneuver that could be accomplished discreetly. If the polish changes color, wearers can take it as an indication of a spike and can remove themselves from the situation.
Although it's unsure when the product will be hitting the shelves, Undercover Colors has already appeared as a finalist at the Kairos 50 startup competition and won funding from the NC State Entrepreneurship Initiative. Are there other ways to stop date rape drugs from even being used in the first place?