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Gadgets

This new connected Kegel device is as weird as it sounds

A connected Kegel exerciser? An app that tracks the strength of your pelvic floor? It's everything you need, all in one box!

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The VaGenie connected Kegel device lets women track the strength of their pelvic floor. 

Claire Reilly/CNET

Kegel exercises are boring. 

When California woman Julia Rose first had kids, she soon realised there was a more interesting way to encourage women to strengthen their pelvic floor, by gamifying the experience and letting women track their progress.

Turns out she was the Evan Spiegel of Kegels -- the VaGenie was born.

Inserted inside the body, the VaGenie gives women real-time biofeedback on pelvic floor exercises. Sensors in the neck of the device track pressure, while an antenna in the end connects with a smartphone app to show progress.

Taking inspiration from Flappy Bird (seriously), Rose has created games to help train women's muscles. Clench your muscles and track a dot climbing across your phone's screen, relax and the dot falls.

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A connected app charts progress.

VaGenie

It's a clever concept -- especially useful for women post-surgery, post-kids or just in a later stage of life -- and Rose is hoping the device will get women talking.

"Pelvic floor health is very costly for the health system," she said. "The biggest reason women have trouble is they're not talking about it."

So Rose started VaGenie Martini Parties ("essentially focus groups with alcohol") to spread the word. She wants to add a social element to the app, to allow close friendship circles to share their progress, and even hopes to develop a points system so women can snatch up freebies by playing more.

The VaGenie is still in prototype phase (we saw a 3D-printed model on show on the Computex floor in Taipei), but the company is fundraising for a launch in early 2018.

Until then, Rose and her team (which includes engineers from Fitbit and Snap) are busily working away to get the device ready for launch. We'll expect a great deal of hoo-haa when it comes out. 

Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's Computex 2017 coverage here.

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