This Woman Redesigned Her Dress To Keep Away Strangers And Protect Her Personal Space

When you’re on a crowded subway, the common practice is to avoid eye contact and just pretend like there’s not someone breathing on your face. But when that isn’t enough for you, you can always pimp up your dress to keep people away.

Tokyo-based artist Kathleen McDermott was tired of people invading her personal space, so she decided to create the Personal Space Dress, a dress that integrates an ultrasonic sensor to detect when someone is too close. When someone is detected, the dress automatically expands, using a rotating motor. The expansion forces any stranger to step back, thus returning the dress wearer’s personal space.

And if you’re up for a pretty involved DIY project, McDermott lays out all of the steps in case you want to make one for yourself. She warns that a basic knowledge of Arduino, soldering, and hand tools is necessary.

The dress is part of a larger collection of “playful electronic wearables for women” that is meant to provoke conversation more than actually viable solutions.

Watch the dress in the wild:

With nobody around, the dress is in a deactivated mode.

But as a stranger approaches, one of the two sensors on the dress will detect the motion.

And activate the expansion …

… most likely weirding out said stranger and causing him to retreat.

Check out Urban Armour’s full video of the dress in action:

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