For years, scientists all over the globe have been working on date rape drug detection systems. Even if you only keep a loose watch on the tech scene, chances are pretty good you’ve read about one in the past — maybe it was a special cup, a disposable stirring stick, or even a color-changing test strip of some sort.
The idea isn’t a new one, but even so, these kinds of date rape prevention kits still aren’t in widespread use. Why? It’s arguably because most currently available products are either inaccurate, or designed to be disposable and single-use. But now, after years of research and development, there’s finally a better solution.
Pd.id (short for Personal Drink ID) is a tiny, battery-powered device that’s not only super-accurate, but is also completely reusable. The gum-stick-sized gizmo fits easily inside of a pocket or a purse, and when dipped into a drink, can detect the presence of Rohypnol, zolpidem, and other benzodiazepines. Just dunk it into your cup, and within seconds it’ll give you either a green or red light — the latter of which means your drink has likely been spiked.
According to founder J. David Wilson, the hardware uses the same technology that the US DEA has employed for years, just shrunk down to a smaller size. Once dunked into your drink, the pd.id collects a small sample, analyzing its density, resistance and temperature to determine if a foreign agent, like rohypnol, has been introduced. And as you’d expect from any modern gadget, the pd.id can also pair and function in tandem with your smart phone, accessing an extensive database of drink profiles and alerting you with a text or call that your drink has been tampered with.
The company behind the device has already ironed out most of the wrinkles in the technology and produced a number of working prototypes, so now it’s turning to Indiegogo to raise funds for large-scale production. If it can raise $100,000 over the next 40 days, the team aims to have pd.id on sale within six months. If/when it officially launches, the device will sell for around $130, but if you back the project now you can snag one up for just $75.