Although this section of the tech industry did not only start in 2020, the beginning of this new year and what is being showcased at CES show that femtech (technology designed for women) is only going to grow.
Mostly related to women’s health, these new technologies are aimed at women and largely created by women. Other areas femtech caters to are beauty, fertility and sexual health. With AI improving vibrators and kegel exercisers helping improve pelvic floors and bladder control, tech is addressing often forgotten about concerns for women.
While the term is disputed as some see it as a way to pigeonhole women’s technology as separate from mens, it is an area that has been gaining some ground no matter what it is labelled. A Frost & Sullivan report estimates that the femtech industry will be worth $50 billion (R700 billion) by 2025.
According to Gadget.co.za, some of the femtech products showcased this year include a wearable in-bra breast pump, L’Oréal’s AI-powered at-home system which provides specialised skincare, cosmetic formulas and Lioness Generation 2, a vibrator using machine-learning to provide personalised metrics on their orgasms.
These strides in innovations for women are impressive since the tech industry has always been dominated by men making products with mostly men in mind. CES 2020’s showcase of sexual health products like the Lioness vibrator show an improvement of acceptance of products made for women. In 2019, another sexual health brand, Lora DiCarlo, was awarded a CES innovation Award in the Robotics and Drone category but it was rescinded, a step that was seen as hypocritical since male-focused sexual health products like VR pornography had been showcased before.
CES appeared to have learned its lesson, including all sexual health products in the Health and Wellness category this year.
Much like all technology though, as fast as companies are using data to enhance sexual and health experiences for women they are selling the data equally as fast. In 2019, popular period trackers were outed for sharing sensitive data logged by users such as contraceptive use and their cycles to Facebook and other third parties. However, Facebook told CNET that they prohibit apps from sharing health data and stop those who do.
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