Technology is amazing. Google can do long division for you, your smartphone can track your sleeping patterns and soon there will be a device that reminds you when to pee. Truly, what would we do without such marvels of scientific innovation?

Lir Scientific has made a product called Brightly—a wearable device that reminds you when it’s time to relieve yourself. Brightly comes on the heels of what my colleague has appropriately dubbed “the Worst Kickstarter,” a water bottle that reminds you to drink wanter.

Luckily Brightly isn’t quite as inane as a water bottle that glows. The product is designed for adults who struggle with incontinence. The goal of the product is to give consumers an alternative to the adult diaper. Via Wired:

Jean Rintoul wants to provide people with another way. She’s the CEO of Lir Scientific, maker of a new wearable device called Brightly, which aims to turn the $17 billion adult diaper industry on its head. The belt-like device carries biosensors that non-invasively “see” the bladder expanding. Using Bluetooth, it can then send a discreet alert to a person’s smartphone to preemptively let them know it’s time for them to take care of their business.

The sentiment and the goal here is nice, but is this really the solution? Do people with bladder control issues really need to be reminded to pee? Isn’t that the whole idea—that they’re constantly being reminded that they have to pee?


I have to imagine that people in this situation are acutely aware of the problem and make some effort to monitor their liquid intake or make sure they’re near a bathroom. While I’m sure they’d rather spend their time thinking about other things, it doesn’t seem like a problem so difficult to manage that they need to wear a $400 belt around their bladder.

Plus, it’s unclear how this would serve as an alternative to diapers, which seem more like an insurance policy against a potential accident for the people this product is aimed after.

This product doesn’t sound like the magic bullet, but Rintoul at least truly does seem like she’s trying to develop products that are actually helpful, adding: “We’re trying to take a broader perspective with our technology, especially by targeting an older population. After all, we all are getting older.”


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Image via Lir Scientific.