A smart condom that changes colour when it detects a sexually transmitted disease could help to cut the spread of the illnesses. The condom won an award in the health category after it was revealed at the TeenTech Awards. The condom is called the S.T.EYE. The smart condom concept includes a layer impregnated with molecules that attach to the bacteria and viruses associated with the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs). These would then cause molecules incorporated in the condom rubber to fluoresce a certain colour in low light, according to the infection detected.
So the smart condom might glow green for chlamydia, yellow for herpes, purple in the presence of the human papillomavirus which causes genital warts, and blue for syphilis, explained the designers. Although still a concept at the moment, the students hope it may be possible to turn their idea into a reality in the future. Daanyaal Ali, 14, from Isaac Newton Academy in Illford, who was part of the team to come up with the idea, said that he hoped the condom would make people more aware of STIs and more willing to seek treatment. “We created the S.T.EYE as a new way for STI detection to help the future of the next generation. ‘We wanted to create something that makes detecting harmful STIs safer than ever before, so that people can take immediate action in the privacy of their own homes without the invasive procedures at the doctors.” He added.
‘We’ve made sure we’re able to give peace of mind to users and make sure people can be even more responsible than ever before.’ The S.T.EYE was awarded first prize in the Health Category at the final of the TeenTech awards, which are intended to promote science, engineering and technology in schools. Groups of 11 to 16-year-olds were asked to come up with ‘technology to make life better, simpler or easier’.
Among the other ideas to make the final was a WiFi-connected hair clip that changes colour to match a person’s clothing. Another was a device that can be worn around the wrist that connects to the users mobile phone and calls the emergency services should the user get into trouble.
The TeenTech Awards were co-founded in 2008 by Maggie Philbin, the former Tomorrow’s World presenter, as a way of promoting science, engineering and technology among teenagers. The winning schools in each category were awarded a prize of £1,000. A spokesman for the awards said: ‘TeenTech demonstrates how the next generation holds the innovative ideas of the future in their hands.’ Reports Daily Mail.