POSITIVELY SILLY

Do Pregnancy Tests Really Need Bluetooth?

At three times the price of a normal pregnancy test, we have to ask: do pee sticks really need to be Bluetooth enabled?

01.08.16 6:15 PM ET

For years, companies have been trying to create a more meaningful reputation for Bluetooth than simply being that weird arrow-squiggly thing at the top of your phone’s screen, and a new product unveiled at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is hoping to change the game.

First Response, the pregnancy test, has upgraded the run of the mill, peeing-on-a-stick-and-waiting-in-anguish-for-three-minutes variety of home testing to a Bluetooth-enabled version that shares the results to your phone. The product, which is slated to be in stores in spring, is the first to bring this technology to pregnancy tests.

Instead of the usual positive or negative symbols, the stick features a little screen that lets users know it’s ready to be used in conjunction with the app. It asks a few preliminary questions—including whether this is an intended prospective pregnancy—in order to provide relevant tips and information upon receiving the result, and also serves up entertainment, relaxation, or education while you wait.

Once ready, the stick generates a security code to be entered into the app, and if you are pregnant, it functions as a tracker throughout the nine months, marking things like appointment reminders and useful questions to ask your OB/GYN.

Retailing at three times the average price of a pregnancy test in the U.S. begs the question: just how high-tech do we need whizzing on a stick to be? Ultimately, the fundamentals of the process and the time it takes to deliver results are the same, and if anything, investing time and money into working on those aspects of the at-home test would prove more desirable than altering the way we read the sign at the end.

Also, being made to type codes into your phone with shaky pee hands? That seems like an unnecessary additional step. The First Response Pro Stick is perfectly fine for those wanting a one-stop shop in which they can find out about and then track their pregnancy, but a $10 test from CVS and downloading the app for free works just as well.

Let’s take a look at three other do-they-really-need-Bluetooth items.

Vibrator

Ah, teledildonics—surely one of the worst words ever known to humankind, which describes the robo-reliance of our future libidos: bringing super weird tech into the bedroom. It would appear that these days, only basic bitches get their rocks off from sex toys that don’t have Bluetooth connectivity, so adult play companies have come to the rescue with a range of interactive downstairs-stimulators.

Lovense, for example, offers a series of smartphone-activated naughties that can be operated by you or your partner at home or away, and its app includes features such as video chat, messaging and music syncing capabilities. Hot, or just plain horrifying? Who can say.

Gloves

A product which definitely seems like a joke but apparently isn’t one are Bluetooth gloves, which allow you to answer your cell by sticking out your thumb and little finger to make a phone sign, and then speaking into the empty hand lingering awkwardly at your ear. Adult humans dreamt up this concept because we’re now “through the looking glass,” which here means “living in a world where gestures we made as children/drunkenly in bars when mouthing at hot dudes are socially acceptable to do in broad daylight.”

Perhaps the most nonsensical part of this all (and it was really, really tough to narrow it down) is that you still have to press the answer button on your phone before the microphone and speaker on the glove’s thumb and finger activate. So your cell rings, you press to take the call, and then...put it down and use your hand instead? Oh but don’t worry if that sounds legitimately ridiculous, because the manufacturers have an answer for you. “Let your childhood instincts take over...plus you get to look like you’re having an imaginary conversation.”

Doesn’t sound like a recipe for getting involuntarily committed at all.

Toothbrush

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Have you ever wished for “real-time brushing guidance” as you clean your gnashers? No, you don’t need to invite your mom round to watch your technique and loudly tell you how to do it better: Oral-B have Bluetooth-ified their latest offering to give you that bathroom product connectivity you never knew you wanted.

According to the company’s website, “It’s not brushing. It’s personalized oral care,” which seems like a way of using more words to say the exact same thing, but there are we are. Its main sell is its app hook-up, which can tell you if you’re over-brushing, can be programmed by your dentist and somewhat puzzlingly includes a calendar for important events, in which you can motivate yourself to “whiten your teeth by your deadline,” because that is a thing now.

2016 is the nightmare we deserve.