Did anyone see The New Inventors last night on ABC? The 3rd invention was called cuffsafe, and is pitched as being "designed to make the potentially dangerous task of applying and removing handcuffs safer".
I found that there was a sense of discomfort to the segment, which I attribute first of all to the panel's (slightly squirmy) awareness that they were talking about something that has sensitive human rights issues, and secondly to the fact that the inventor kept using the phrase 'detainee', which exacerbated my first point. He also threw into the pot the notion that his market wasn't just Australia, but America and other such nations, which brought (to my mind at least) a number of unsavoury applications for the device.
Even in the final discussion, I found that the panel would start talking about cuffsafe, but then change the subject rapidly to something 'safer' -- or was that the ABC's careful editing? They certainly placed this invention carefully in with some pretty harmless and consciously cute inventions: the endearingly-named 'Move Ya Bastard' car shifter, and an endearingly homemade gardening buggy. A bit of camoflage around the tricky issue, and maybe, just maybe, it worked.
The feedback panel at the New Inventor's program site has nothing at the moment -- and I'd be very surprised if anyone does bring up any of this -- but I'll be keeping my eye on it, just in case. If you didn't see it, and you have broadband, there is a link to the segment on the cuffsafe page.
If you did watch it, what do you think?