Digital Pregnancy tests are hassle-free and a more sure and sorted way of confirming the pregnancy, aren’t they? But recently, there has been some controversy regarding the same.
Twitter users @foone and @xtoff have torn down the digital pregnancy tests and called them a scam and a waste of money. But does everyone agree?
So, with it open, we've got a single PCB here.
There's some kind of pill-looking thing to the left, a little LCD screen, and a I can see a battery on the other side. pic.twitter.com/WsuPI3pVsb
— foone (@Foone) September 4, 2020
And for those of you who don’t know what a digital pregnancy test is, don’t worry, we’ll tell you all about it. The digital era has welcome many changes and pregnancy tests are one of them.
So let’s start by understanding what are digital pregnancy tests before we move on to explain why exactly they are being criticized by many.
Digital pregnancy tests
Unlike the traditional pregnancy test where you just peed on the sticks, the digital ones have one more step to go.
A digital pregnancy test comes with a RAM, a processor, a small screen LCD display screen, and a button cell battery. It will cost you less than $5 to get this pregnancy test. The RAM is 64-bytes and can run both at 4Mhz and 8Mhz; depends on battery configuration.
Although this all might pretty simple, it really is very complicated because these little pregnancy tests are almost as complicated as an original IBM PC.
So, flipping it over, we've got a battery on the left, an IC, and a long paper strip. pic.twitter.com/ENHNe5cKny
— foone (@Foone) September 4, 2020
The twitter user Foone explained in a tweet, “You might think it’s very limited because it’s only got 64 bytes of RAM, but it’s actually using a pipelined architecture to operate at 1 instruction per cycle, giving it quite good performance for a 4Mhz CPU.”
According to Foone, digital pregnancy tests are “faster at number crunching and basic I/O than the CPU used in the original IBM PC.”
How does it work?
The problem with this digital age pregnancy test lies in the fact that even a digital pregnancy test will still use a paper strip.
Twitter users Foone and Xtoff claim that digital test does not improve the accuracy of the test anyhow. It merely measures the chemical reaction created on the urinated paper strip.
The wet paper strip acts like a wick and turns the device on by activating the battery. Now the device reads the lines on the wet paper strip using the photosensors and LEDs in it. This paper strip is what ultimately provides the result.
So it basically means that the whole device is there just to read the paper strip and then display either “pregnant” or “not pregnant”.
This test provides clarity to those who can’t read the lines on the strip, but otherwise, it does nothing special.
The controversy about the digital pregnancy test
The controversy arose after the Twitter users @foone and @xtoff bashed the digital pregnancy test in a thread of tweets.
This obviously divided Twitter with people supporting the digital pregnancy tests and others opposing it.
Foone and Xtoof called the digital pregnancy test a scam. They wrote on Twitter, “It’s a scam, basically. Computers are cheap now. People are buying the digital one thinking it’s a more accurate fancy model, but it is the same.”
This followed many others saying that paper strip could be misread many and it could vary from person to person. Tech YouTuber Naomi Wu said, “It is not stupid or wasteful to use a hardware interface to help women with this.”
On the other hand, many raised the issue of e-waste production as well. While we can’t really take one side, as clearly the other one also has a point, but making an informed choice is always a good start.
So what are your thoughts on this? Is this a waste of time? Do think over it, until next time!