Wearable technology is all about integrating useful mobile tools into to your life without having to add more electronics to your already-stuffed pockets. In the foreseeable future, watches, glasses, and jewelry will be able to perform many - even oust smartphones, tablets, and diapers. You read correctly. I said diapers—the kind worn by the incontinent to avoid embarrassment or unwanted messes. A Japanese startup based in California named Triple W has announced a wearable device that predicts your bowel movements before you feel them coming.
The rectangular patch, called D Free, is applied to your abdomen, where it waits patiently for intestinal activity—think of it as a Richter Scale for bowel movements. While it won’t necessarily give you the scale of the poo, it will notify you preemptively, and even predict how much time you have to find a lavatory.
Triple W has yet to explain exactly how the device knows what’s going on inside—sensors seem to be the likely scenario—and we’re not entirely sure how is stays on your stomach all day. What we do know is that the poo-patch wirelessly connects to your smartphone, and sends a push notification before the pushing starts. This gives you enough time to scout out the nearest restroom before the point of no return.
In many ways, D Free is as much a revolution in wireless healthcare technology as it is in wearable devices. A hefty portion of the population is comfortable enough with their bowel activity to live unencumbered by fear of, shall we say, slipping. We can expect the device to be targeted toward people with incontinence, for example, the elderly, or people with specific medical conditions that may cause loose bowels. There isn’t talk on Triple W’s end regarding its use on infants or toddlers, but this seems like a logical possibility. It could come in handy on long car rides, flights, and other scenarios where you would rather not be in an enclosed space with a smelly diaper.
D Free is one of the more unorthodox innovations in the wearable world , and it should have some value in the realm of mobile healthcare. For now, we wait on Triple W’s next move. If the device does become wildly successful, the world may have fewer accidents of the smelly nature on their hands.
Until then, the diaper industry will just have to hold its breath.
Dominick Sorrentino is an editor for TMC (News - Alert) and its technology and communications properties.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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