At the 2016 Hackaday Superconference, Amanda Brief and Jacob McEntire gave a talk on what they’ve been working on for the past few years. It’s My.Flow, the world’s first tampon monitor capable of tracking saturation, and eliminating anxiety, leakage, and infection. It’s better than a traditional tampon, and it’s one of the rare Internet of Things things that actually makes sense.
There’s a long history of technological innovation to deal with menstruation. What began with simply sending women out of the village for a week turned into a ‘sanitary belt’ after a few thousand years. This astonishing technological advance of treating women as people led to the pad, the cup, and eventually, the disposable tampon. Now My.Flow is applying modern electrochemical technology to move the state of the art forward.
There are three parts of My.Flow — the smartphone app, a tampon monitor, and the slightly modified tampons themselves. These modified tampons are just dumb sensors and are attached to the small, clip-on tampon monitor to provide a Bluetooth connection to the phone.
As with any Internet of Things thing, one question must be asked: why on earth would you do this? No one will ever watch YouTube videos on their fridge, and a smart toaster oven is useful if and only if it can be hacked into a solder paste reflow oven. Here, My.Flow succeeds in building something useful. My.Flow will track and predict a menstrual flow, predict ovulation, when a period will start, and the amount of time left until a tampon should be removed.
In the talk, Amanda and Jacob compared the My.Flow to the ubiquitous Fitbit. In our opinion, it’s an apt description — half the population deals with menstruation and the My.Flow is a fantastically innovative piece of technology we might be seeing everywhere soon.