Condoms are a life-saving piece of tech, and for being little more than uninflated latex balloons, they do their job pretty well if you wear them. That’s the part that Bill Gates is working on. No, he’s not going around as a one-man condom-police army, but he is offering $100,000 to anyone who can make a condom less of a bummer to wear.
The money is being offered by the Gates Foundation by way of the Grand Challenges in Global Health Program, and is up for grabs by “anyone – students, scientists or entrepreneurs” who can improve the age-old second-skin tech. And if you needed any clever ideas to get you started, the Gates foundation “has you covered” so to speak:
Additional concepts that might increase [condom usage] uptake include attributes that increase ease-of-use for male and female condoms, for example better packaging or designs that are easier to properly apply. In addition, attributes that address and overcome cultural barriers are also desired.
But mostly force-fields. I think we’re all looking for force-field condoms here. Or maybe something with graphene? I don’t know, you figure it out.
Gates has already thrown a whole bunch of cash at building a better toilet, it’s not that surprising that something like condoms might be next on the list. But with any luck, the reward can spark some killer innovation, and then you’ll have Bill Gates to thank the next time you get laid.