ClearBlue has locked down the celebrity-ish pregnancy test pitchwoman, but what’s First Response up to these days? Apparently: Bluetooth. Chalk one up for the connected vagina!
Gizmodo reports from the Consumer Electronics Show, where the company just introduced the First Response Pregnancy Pro test, which they proudly tout as “the first pregnancy test that syncs with your smartphone.”
The Wall Street Journal says that for your $14.99 to $21.99, you get personalization—in the sense that, when you power up the app, you say whether or not you want to be pregnant and it tailors its information delivery accordingly. (Presumably so there’s no bright, chipper “Congratulations!” delivered to the wrong users.)
You can also request that the app “calm me” “educate me” or “entertain me” while you wait for the results. One option delivers cute animals while you wait. Which is a bit ironic—the at-home pregnancy test was a powerful innovation because removing the doctor’s office from the equation made the experience as private as you wanted it to be. But now you’ve got some robotic personal assistant ready and waiting to hold your hand.
If you get a positive result and you told the app you were hoping to become pregnant, it segues you seamlessly into a classic pregnancy app with appointment reminders, suggested questions for your doctor, and so on. Guess they saw players like Glow and Ovia and said: Why not us? Even if you’re not pregnant, you can use the accompanying app as a period tracker.
Nevertheless, the Pregnancy PRO pretty clearly makes the most sense for somebody who’d like to be pregnant. It’s a softer sell that Clearblue’s parade of ecstatic semi-celebrity moms-to-be, admittedly, but it’s hard to see why somebody whose next step would be calling the clinic would opt for these bells and whistles. Women desperately hoping for a no have largely disappeared from the marketing of pregnancy tests—not always the case—and these products been pretty well absorbed into the world of fertility rather than contraception. Which makes sense—that’s where the money is.
Personally, I’d just as soon save some money and put it toward prenatal vitamins. At this point, the technology feels like those extras they crammed onto DVDs when DVDs were still new and exciting, before everybody switched to streaming. Why not just take a dirt-cheap test and log your results into a fertility tracker you’re already using?
But it’s early days, and while it might seem a little wacky now, it’s very easy to imagine this approach being applied to an ovulation predictor kit, and then you’ve really tapped into a market of motivated buyers—the women who’ve been kinda-sorta trying for long enough they’re running through too many tests to fool with something that costs $20, and ready to pony up for whatever will help them get that positive result.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images via First Response.