IN A NUTSHELL
Ava is a gadget designed for women to track their menstrual cycles. Worn at night on the wrist like a watch, it tracks a number of metrics, including pulse rate, skin temperature, movement and sleep pattern.
It’s main function seems to be to help women find out when they are most fertile and likely to conceive, but it’s also being advertised as an overall wellbeing monitor.
If you’re into tracking what’s going on with your body, then it could be a good one for you.
My main bug bear with this gadget is how difficult it is to put on/fasten. You have to do it up fairly tightly, so the sensors are pressed right up against your skin. Easier said than done, though, as it has a stretchy strap and two plastic tag things that you have to push through holes in the other side of the strap. I’m not explaining it very well, but trust me, it’s fiddly.
Also, the app isn’t available on Android yet (at least not in the UK*), so I’m not able to actually able to use it on my phone. I downloaded the iOS app onto my iPad, but it’s obvious it’s not optimised for a tablet as it looks all over the place.
I suppose it’s as comfortable as a wearable is going to get – they’ve designed it so it is as compact a possible, with the tech bits and bobs encased in a kind of plastic oval that’s about 3.5cm across and 1cm deep. I just don’t like sleeping with stuff on my arms – even the thinnest chain bracelet would piss me off, so it’s not for me. There have been a couple of times I’ve woken up in the morning to find I’m no longer wearing the Ava, obviously having removed it in the night in a mid-slumber rage.
I have a free period tracker app on my phone, which, having entered nothing more than the dates of my previous periods, predicts the exact same fertile window and ovulation day as Ava does.
I honestly find it surprising that the company has managed to raise $12.3m, but it seems to have had a fair amount of positive feedback for users. I just don’t think it’s worth the pricetag.
- UPDATE 04/03/17: The Ava app is now available on Android.