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Smart menstrual cup tracks your periods and knows if you're ill

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A common complaint from women about tampons is that wearing one is annoying and messy. On top of that, every time one is used, there's a risk of contracting Toxic Shock Syndrome, a life-threatening bacterial infection. It's one of the reasons that menstrual cups have entered mainstream use, since they do the same job without the risk, they're cheaper and kinder for the environment. These cups are now getting a smartphone-style upgrade thanks to the folks at Loon Lab. The firm claims to have created the world's first "smart" menstrual cup that can provide unprecedented insights into a user's reproductive health.

Unlike an analog menstrual cup, Looncup comes with three sensors (triaxial, RGB and force) tucked into the base alongside a Bluetooth antenna. Combined with the company's secret-sauce algorithms and a companion iOS or Android app, users can start getting alerts about the state of their period. For instance, the cup knows when it's getting full, sparing users the burden of having to check it regularly to avoid overflowing. Then there's the fact that the device can monitor the color of the wearer's fluid and will advise them to visit the doctor in the hope of catching a problem before it becomes serious. Finally, the Looncup will monitor the monthly cycle and let its owner know when they're likely to begin bleeding the subsequent month.

Like all gadgets these days, Loon Labs is launching the Looncup on Kickstarter, asking for your help to get it into stores. Early backers can grab one unit for as little as $30 if they're quick, with latecomers getting options to pay $35 and $40 for the same gear. As for battery life, the tech is sealed inside the cup so there's no ability to recharge, but each one has a rough lifespan of six months, so you'll more than get your money's worth. The first Looncups are expected to land on doorsteps from January of 2016.

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