The word 'Kavachh' in Sanskrit means armor. Kavachh, the product, is very similar. It is a system that prevents the sexual assault of a person with Down Syndrome by detecting a potential assault and taking action. This theme of developing a concept for people with disabilities was pursued due to an urgent need for such a product and a high level of team interest in this opportunity. Further research channeled our focus on the prevention of sexual assault of people with down syndrome.
Product and Service Design
Kavachh is for Sally and Joe. Sally is 25 and Joe 29. They are both people with down syndrome. They are in a relationship, live together and have different jobs. Their families live nearby and are very supportive of them and everything they want to do. However, Sally and Joe have a hard time understanding social norms and the concept of consent. They tend to be very friendly with everyone. Their families are worried that they will be taken advantage of and suffer in silence as they don't understand what has happened. Sally and Joe love to interact with people and would hate to be treated differently due to a conspicuous self-defense device on their person. They would welcome a protective product which isn't obviously visible and identifies potentially harmful situations.
Interviews with healthcare professionals and a blogger for people with disabilities led to the following insights:
These insights formed the basis of our research and analysis.
Kavachh is an undershirt for people with down syndrome. The shirt is equipped with a bluetooth module, posture sensors and hormone sensors which are connected to the cloud and run by a self-learning algorithm which enables it to be customized for each user. If Kavachh detects the possibility of sexual attack, the user's loved ones are contacted and nudged to check up on them. The system is designed with three layers of security to ensure that even false alarms are recorded and trigger certain actions. An initial schematic process diagram has been shown below.
Some factors to be considered while developing this concept into an actual product have been highlighted:
Reliability of these sensors working together hasn't been tested before.
Effectiveness of the predictive self-learning algorithm is as yet unknown.
Due to advancements in the medical field, it is now possible to detect down syndrome in the first trimester of pregnancy. This may result in down syndrome not existing in the future.
Legal and regulatory restrictions on such devices must be explored.
The fabric of the T-shirt and comfort level of the user should be assessed.