A Fitbit... for a penis?
The growing world of wearable tech gadgets is coming to your bedroom with the i.Con Smart Condom, developed by British Condoms.
The i.Con, which isn’t actually a condom at all, but rather a ring worn at the base of the penis, is a smart device that connects with your smartphone.
It’s designed to give you a whole range of performance-based statistics.
According to British Condoms, the device is able to track:
- calories burned during sexual intercourse
- speed of thrusts
- total number of thrusts
- total duration of sessions
- average velocity of thrusts
- girth measurement
- average skin temperature
The company is also hoping to roll out a feature that will let users know how many different positions they’ve used as well.
However, that’s still in a beta test phase.
“Consumers buy the Fitbit to keep track of their activity on the go, and so does the i.Con, just in the bedroom rather than other forms of exercise/activity,” a representative from British Condoms told Healthline.
“The i.Con is novelty. It’s for people that are curious to know certain statistics in the bedroom,” the representative added.
What exactly is the ‘smart condom’?
Despite its small size, the i.Con is packed with an array of sensors.
Those include an LED lighting system, Bluetooth, and a USB port for charging.
It’s also waterproof.
And yes, if you’re a savvy tech-head, they’ve got you covered when it comes to keeping your sex metrics (sextrics?) private.
The company representative says the data isn’t given to any third parties, and the ability to share the data is up to the user.
Which means, yes, you can share it on social media. If you’re brave enough.
But the device isn’t just about metrics. The manufacturers say it’s also about safe sex.
While the i.Con can be used with or without a condom, the device is actually intended to fit over the bottom of a condom to prevent slippage.
The representative said that in company testing, the i.Con kept a condom in place more successfully than just the condom alone.
British Condoms is also touting the i.Con’s ability to detect certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
The device is supposedly capable of detecting chlamydia and gonorrhea if it comes into contact with them.
It alerts the user about STIs with a purple light from the LEDs.
Though, perhaps by then, it might be too late.
The company wouldn’t get too specific on the technology used for STI detection.
“The tech is a lot more advanced than that, but we don’t want to give too much away,” the representative said.
But do we need it?
The buzz around the device has already started.
British Condoms says they’ve already received more than 900,000 inquiries about the i.Con.
However, some sexual health experts are expressing reservations about it.
Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt, a urologist and sexual health expert at Orlando Health in Florida, told Healthline his first impression is that the name is deceiving.
“There may be some guys that think this ‘smart condom’ ring substitutes for a condom, which is totally not the case,” he said.
He’s not the only skeptic.
Other sexually active males interviewed by Healthline also expressed confusion about the “smart condom” actually being a condom accessory rather than a real prophylactic.
Brahmbhatt also raised a number of other concerns.
The single size of the i.Con could prove too tight or too loose for some individuals. In both cases the device could prove to be an annoyance, lowering pleasure for both parties involved.
British Condoms says the band is flexible and should accommodate men of all sizes.
Bringing metrics into the bedroom could also prove problematic.
While certainly there’ll be plenty of men out there hoping to beat their previous “thrust record,” turning sex into a competitive sport doesn’t sound, well, sexy.
“If men see velocity of thrusts as a marker of ‘manhood,’ they may try to engage rougher sex, which may not be safe for the female,” said Brahmbhatt.
While the novelty of the product may be fun or dubious depending on your point of view, both British Condoms and Brahmbhatt agree that the product is getting people to talk about sexual health, pleasure, and safe sex.
But, when it comes to using the product, the i.Con certainly won’t be for everyone.
“The best sex in my opinion is when your mind is free to enjoy the pleasures of intimacy without having to worry about whether your penile temperature is right or your velocity is strong enough,” said Brahmbhatt.
The i.Con will debut in January. It’s expected to cost about $90.