Meet the S.T.Eye, the Condom That Can Reveal an STI

There are all kinds of condoms on the market: traditional, non-latex, colored, flavored and even the smart, performance-tracker condom. This new invention which is yet to hit stores isn’t, however, meant to enhance the sexual experiences of users, but rather to make them safer in the short and long term.

The new condom has been cleverly dubbed the S.T.Eye, and as the name suggests, it will reveal whether those who wear it are carrying any kind of sexually transmitted infection.

Surprisingly, the device was invented by three teens in the UK, and the tech behind it is so impressive that it earned then an award at the TeenTech event back in 2015. The concept is so simple it could only have been invented by three 14-year old students – as it was. The idea was for these condoms to have molecules embedded in their composition, which attached themselves to the bacteria responsible for any specific kind of sexually transmitted infection. The S.T.Eye would then react to these bacteria (if present) and show the color associated with the infection that is affecting the user.

The smart condom can theoretically detect some of the most common and well-known STIs. According to reports, it would glow green for chlamydia, blue when it detected syphilis, yellow for herpes and purple when it found traces of HPV.

In spite of how impressive this device could be, one must remember it was invented by 13 and 14 year old boys, and so far, it hasn’t yet been turned into an actual product. It was mentioned by several media outlets reporting on this invention back in 2015 that it could only detect certain strains of the STIs mentioned. So there are several other infections the S.T.Eye could not detect, and while it would still protect both partners, it wouldn’t be able to show whether the female partner was affected.

The boys responsible for the project said that their intent was to make sex safer as well as ensure that participants could find out if they were affected by STIs instantly, without having to go to a doctor for testing.

But while most media outlets were enchanted with this invention, others pointed out that the timing of the STI revelation would be inconvenient. More than that, some pointed out that STI testing results take a few days to be revealed, making the invention unrealistic and improbable to ever become a reality. For now, though, we can just wonder whether this idea will be developed into a smart condom and hit stores in the future.