Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Smart wearable provides menstrual data

Steve Rogerson
October 20, 2015
 
A menstrual cup that can send vital information about the state of a period direct to the user’s smartphone is raising money through crowd-funding on Kickstarter. Called Looncup, the smart menstruation cup tells the user how full it is, and when it’s time to refresh.
 
Looncup can even track fluid volume and provide information about fluid colour and cycle.
 
“We believe that each tiny Looncup can make a huge impact on the lives of women around the world,” says the company. “Looncup is safe, convenient and so smart, with a securely embedded sensor that talks to your smartphone. We continue to make the Looncup even better, and with your support, we can do it, helping women worldwide win back their freedom and live happier, more enjoyable lives.”
 
It also acts like a personal diary that automatically takes notes. Once a woman starts using the device and app, it learns and tracks her pattern accurately, giving a gentle nudge each month when the period is just around the corner. It even shows month-to-month trends.
 
The cup has a 25ml capacity, which should last around 12 hours before it needs emptying. It is made from medical grade silicone and battery life is approximately six months. The embedded sensors can measure menstrual fluids and colour. This is done using three different sensors for triaxial, RGB and force. Volume is calculated using force and slope. The RGB sensor detects colour.
 
The iOS and Android apps will be available in January 2016 for free. Support for Android watches and the iWatch will be included. Communications with the smartphone are via Bluetooth and the antenna is in the stem of the cup.
 
The company behind the product is Loon Labs, a US C-corp with its sales and marketing office in San Francisco. The Looncup was developed and manufactured at the firm’s R&D office in Seoul, South Korea. The start-up has received a small investment from private investors in South Korea.
 
“We are working on several different types of Looncups that can meet different needs that we see,” said the company. “For example, we'll be able to check anaemia with haemoglobin. We'll also be able to do glucose checks for people suffering from diabetes, and cholesterol for people suffering from hyperpiesia. It's amazing how much menstruation fluid can tell us about ourselves.”