March 24, 2013
Condoms are recognized and used by an estimated 750 million people across the world and reduce both unwanted pregnancy and the spread of sexually-transmitted infections. However, unlike most other technologies, they haven’t changed much in the last half-century. So isn’t it about time for something new?
Yes, says the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is offering $100,000 of initial funding with up to $1 million of possible continued funding to whoever designs the “next generation of condoms.” What might such a futuristic prophylactic look like?
“The primary drawback from the male perspective is that condoms decrease pleasure as compared to no condom,” says the Foundation’s description of the challenge. So a “next-generation” condom would, perhaps, find some way to increase sensation as to get men to wear them more often — purely in the name of global health, of course.