Teenage students are pitching a conceptual invention to help curb the spread of STDs: a condom that changes colors when exposed to sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
Students Daanyaal Ali, 14, Muaz Nawaz, 13, and Chirag Shah, 14 of England's Isaac Newton Academy created a "smart condom" concept they're calling S.T. EYE, according to The Washington Post. The students delivered their research project to U.K.'s TeenTech Awards which aims to "help young teenagers see the wide range of career possibilities in Science, Engineering and Technology (STEM).
The conceptual prophylactic would be coated in antibodies that would interact with the antigens of an STD, causing the luminescent hue to change colors. The students said they believe the condom would be able to help identify exposure to chlamydia, herpes, HPV and syphilis all with different colors.
"We knew that STIs were a huge problem in the U.K.," Daanyaal told The Washington Post. "We saw a gap in the market and we wanted to help people feel safer."
The three young boys won top honors at the TeenTech Awards, winning a cash prize equivalent to around $1,500 and a trip to meet Prince Andrew at Buckingham Palace.
TeenTech chief executive Maggie Philbin said that the S.T. EYE is merely a concept right now, though some condom manufacturers have already approached the students about their research.
"We know most of these ideas remain ideas," Philbin told The Washington Post. "But some of them do make it."
Students create conceptual condom that changes colors to indicate STD exposure