In a comedy bit about the ways scientists often focus on areas that might not deserve the full attention of their expertise, Patton Oswalt once opined, “We’re science: we’re all about coulda, not shoulda.” Perhaps that’s the best segue into a discussion about a new technology that allows you to track the development of your farts via your smartphone.
Per Ars Technica, a group of Australian researchers has developed an ingestible electronic capsule that, once eaten, monitors gas levels in your stomach and intestines. Containing a wireless transmitter, it sends the information to a receiver, which pairs with a smartphone app that allows you to see the gassy conditions of your insides in real time. In other words, you can track your farts as they develop in order to know what’s coming, much like you’re tracking a storm moving across the Atlantic Ocean to see whether or not it will turn into a hurricane.
No, this wasn’t developed by a couple of bros looking to turn their appreciation for fart humor into a thesis project. It’s a real-deal device meant to help scientists understand the conditions of each section of your gut as well as what the microbes in there are doing. It could also help to identify the specific kinds of foods that are causing problems in the system. Are this morning’s stinkers because of that pizza you ate last night or because of the BBQ sandwich you downed at lunch? Perhaps you’ll be able to tell and…not change your eating habits either way.
In case you’re wondering how that thing you are turns into a noxious fart, the scientists tested the capsule on six people. According to their research, it took 20 hours for the pill to “complete it’s journey,” making a 4.5-hour pitstop in the stomach, 2.5-hour ride through the small intestine, and 13-hour road trip along the colon.
Want to get your hands on this crop-dusting measurement capsule? Perhaps you’ll be able to one day. The people behind the pill are currently setting up a commercial company, though their intentions remain scientific in nature. At least for now. Lord knows there’s a whole bunch of college kids who would love to pop one of these and start gorging to see what happens in there. It could also give them pinpoint accuracy to know when the perfect time for a hotboxing is approaching. The poo-sibilities are endless.
According to one expert, the capsules “have remarkable potential to help us understand the functional aspects of the gut microbiome, its response to dietary changes, and its impact on health. It might not be too long before a routine healthcare visit involves a check of your vital signs and a request to swallow a tiny electronic monitoring device.” And you thought the prostate check was the most uncomfortable part…
And just in case you were thinking this is something only a handful of weirdos want, people have been trying to come up with one of these for a long time. Last year, someone tried to introduce a Fitbit-style device that would help you keep tabs on impending gas, but it couldn’t break even on Kickstarter, let alone track when you break wind.