This Nail Varnish Can Detect Date Rape Drugs

Invented by four students, this startup has the power to change society

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© 2017 Ned Raggett - Flickr

Hundreds of new inventions are created each day, but its rare to find one that could change your life. So four students at the North Carolina State University have taken the task upon themselves, making a nail polish that changes colour when its exposed to date rape drugs Rohypnol and GHB.

Simply put a coat of the ‘Undercover colour’ polish on before you go out, and you’ll be adding safety against sexual assault to your list of night-out essentials. Basically, each fingernail acts as a test strip, so when you dip your finger into your drink, your nail will change colour if it has been spiked. In a recent study, The Washington Post found that campus sex offence incidents are at an all-time high, having increased by 50 percent in just three years; if that doesn’t call for an intervention, then we won’t know what will.

Appearing at the K50 startup showcase, the four man company has so far raised $100,000 from one investor but still needs to build up an extra $150,000 to turn its genius into a reality. In an industry dependent on innovation and competition, Undercover Colours co-founder Tyler Confrey-Maloney has the refreshingly unified belief “that thoughtful and innovative technologies can enable us to improve this world”.