Could a wristband keep partygoers safer?

An intriguing design concept surfaces at Microsoft's Design Expo
Could a wristband keep partygoers safer?

It's called Vive and it's simple. Here's a wristband. It tracks your hydration and alcohol levels. It periodically vibrates – you squeeze it to tell it you're still conscious, able, and having fun. If you don't, it'll communicate with your other wristband friends to tell them to go look for you. It's elegant and it simply extends the pre-existing partygoer's concept of The Buddy System.

It's not a working prototype but it's feasible to produce – all the technology exists, including the accelerometer to track movement, Bluetooth to communicate between wristbands and sensors for hydration and alcohol levels.

More importantly, it's subtle and easy enough to use that it shouldn't deter the Young, Hip and Reckless while (on the surface) flexible enough to respond to the various fickle trends of clubbers. A wristband could easily be remolded into hipper silhouettes or have someone lazily stamp “YOLO!” or “Live Free!” or other equally banal slogans.

Safer partying, people

Could a wristband keep partygoers safer?

Another key element, noted by judges, is that it isn't all about preventing sexual assault or similarly compromising situations. The Young, Hip and Reckless (which could be unfortunately abbreviated as YoHipReck) wouldn't only go for that of course.

Safety isn't always a priority in and of itself. So the wristband comes with some sort of social element to it – Vive can connect to your smartphone and you could make connections by tapping wristbands with people you meet at said parties.

The design was made by a team of University of Washington design students. They presented the design at Microsoft Research's Design Expo held annually in Redmond, Virginia. The Design Expo was launched over 10 years ago, aiming to showcase student-led designs against real business and industry heads in the world of tech development. This year's theme was “In a world with a billion sensors, how will we make sense of it all?”

READ MORE: 5 imaginary gadgets that heralded the coming of wearable tech