I’m pretty sure we’ll never see a clinical study that substantiates the effectiveness of Axel Glade‘s Spade smart ear wax remover. As a practical matter, however, digging into our ears to free up clogged or accumulated ear wax with cotton swabs, pens, paperclips, or fingers is not recommended by most healthcare professionals. You don’t need to see the graphics on the Spade product page to understand that pushing various objects blindly into your ear in hopes of fast and easy wax removal can make the situation worse by clogging your ear canal even more. In the worst case, you could damage your ear or cause a dangerous infection.

The Spade is a pen-shaped rechargeable device with a removable cap that essentially enables you to perform self-administered laparoscopy on your ear wax. A 3-megapixel camera in the device transmits images via Wi-Fi in real-time to an associated smartphone app. To use the Spade, you hold the smartphone in one hand and watch the images in the Spade app while you insert the device in your ear. The idea is that the images will help you remove the ear wax more effectively and safely.

There are plenty of images and demo videos on the Axel Glade site. The Spade isn’t a medical device, it doesn’t sense or compile biometric data or vital signs. In all it’s a straight forward solution to an awkward personal hygiene issue. The Spade is available on the Axel Glade website for $99 during a summer sale. Free shipping is included.