Want to know when to change your tampon? There’s an app for that.
There’s a lone little drawer in my wardrobe referred to as ‘the period drawer’. It tells the story of period mishaps over the years: perfectly good M+S pants now branded – literally – with blood. The time I was at the theatre for a three hour show. The time I slept for an hour too long. The time I just misjudged my flow. But my drawer is part of a bigger picture: these silent stains are monthly occurrences for women across the world. Aside from the physical symptoms, leak week can cause us anxiety from a social point of view; who wants to bleed through their clothes in public – or at work?
Meet the tampon 2.0
A new startup is hoping to change that with their invention. my.Flow is a tampon with Bluetooth connectivity that lets its user know when the tampon is completely saturated and needs to be changed. The CEO, Amanda Field, came up with the idea during a project on wearables at the University of California, Berkeley.
While the original protoype featured a Bluetooth component inside the tampon, user feedback suggested that consumers were not enthused about shoving electronics up their vaginas. Fair point. So the current iteration – due to launch 2017 – includes a tampon with an extra long string that is threaded through a wearable that sits on the user’s waist. Once the wearable is wirelessly paired with your phone, the user can instruct the app to send a notification when your tampon is a certain percentage full.
An app for good?
This has obvious drawbacks: not everyone is going to want to wear a tampon with a such long string – my.Flow’s is estimated to be between six to 12 inches. It presents a whole other set of logistical issues for women: swimming? Probably not a great idea. Clipping your tampon to your waistband also feels like a pretty weird thing to do. Supporters are claiming it will educate young girls using tampons for the first time as well as help to prevent Toxic Shock Syndrome. The jury is out for us on this particular invention – but it’s great to see the tech world acknowledging menstruation as an area of worthy of development.
Would you wear it? Is it solving a problem you have? Let us know in the comments!