Defense Device
September 29, 1996

               Copyright 1996 The New York Times Company
                         The New York Times
                September 29, 1996, Sunday, Late Edition

HEADLINE: The Defense Device



Someone about to commit a crime undergoes distinct physiological
changes: body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate all rise
and the body emits a musky scent. This wrist cuff, encompassing
laser and microwave technology, would be able to read those vital
signs and zap a potential attacker with a disabling arc of
electricity. Think of it as a Mace for the 21st century.

"Every person emits a signature," explains Peter Rowland, spokesman
for the Picatinny Arsenal in Rockaway Township, N.J., where the
Army is developing weapons that operate on a similar principle. "A
sensor could distinguish that signature and determine if it's
friend or foe."

This cuff is meant strictly for personal defense: it can't be fired
unless it senses an assailant. At that point, the system "taps"
your wrist and points you at your foe. When you look in that
direction, the earpiece registers your head movement and locks the
firing system onto the target.

If the possible assailant advances within a predefined radius, the cuff
fires a bolt of electricity, in an amount set to stun, wound or kill.

As a precaution, the wrist cuff could be fired only by its user.
And it's a smart weapon, in the truest sense. By reading the user's
brain waves, the system could decide to hold its fire against, say,
a passionate lover.   ALEXANDRA BANDON

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