Internet Is Coming To A Vagina Near You
No folks, that’s not a typo. And yes, you read that correctly.
The world of smart products is expanding into the feminine hygiene market. Ladies get ready because two companies have recently announced plans to create smart tampons.
The first company is my.Flow. Their product is focused on giving their users a virtual smorgasbord of information about their cycle and the current status of their tampon. The system includes a sensor with Bluetooth that clips to your waist and special tampons sold by my.Flow. The special tampons are the same as any normal tampon except these have an extra long insulated string that attaches to the sensor. As the tampon fills up, moisture flows through the string and is detected by the sensor.
Users can access literal flow charts (see what I did there?) via their My.flow app. More specifically, the app can record the days your period begins and ends and can give you information about what times have the heaviest flow. They can also receive regular notifications on the status of their tampon at 25%, 50%, 75, and full.
Many women know their flow well, but some don’t. This system is built for those who don’t. Those who don’t may include young women who are not yet accustomed to their cycle or others who experience erratic flow for various reasons.
Whether women will find this necessary or even useful remains to be seen. At a price of $50 for the sensor and roughly $13 per month for tampons, they might be in for a tough sell.
Next Gen Jane
Next Gen Jane is a startup that is taking more of a health angle on the smart tampon. They are still about a year away from having a working prototype but their intention is to provide women with reproductive health data by studying biomarkers retrieved from blood samples in the tampon.
Conditions like cysts, endometriosis, and some STDs can be found through simple blood tests. With Next Gen Jane, those tests could be administered at home instead of at an expensive doctor’s visit. Furthermore, early detection is more likely when you are testing once a month instead of only at an annual or biannual doctor’s visit. Early detection is especially important when you are talking about conditions that sometimes don’t show symptoms until they are already doing damage.
Is This Really Necessary?
For sure there will be people that think this is taking being connected too far. However, all kinds of people are walking around with devices that track every step they take. Does that increase their physical well-being? In many cases, I think the answer is yes. So, why not do the same thing for women’s reproductive health?
Without a doubt, the first generation of these products won’t be without fault. As with any young technology, there will be successes and failures. Perhaps in the future we will see these two companies combine to make a super-smart tampon. Or, maybe they will both disappear and women can go on living their lives without uploading their menstrual data to the cloud.
Think this is awesome? Think this is ridiculous? Let me know what you think in the comments section.