Objects of Desire: High-tech Adult Toys and The Future Of Sex

AI sex toy, Robotics, haptic interfaces, and more.

The future of sex is here…well around the corner with new technologies being applied to objects of pleasure. That was expected given the high propensity of humans for pain AND pleasure (love and war). There is a revolution in new technologies applied to sex but also a shift in mainstream culture about such objects. Discussions about adult toys have become an open conversation with trends and preferences. Just a few years ago, those products were relegated to back-alley shops and bottom drawers. Now they’re winning prestigious design awards, part of bestselling books and blockbuster films (Fifty shades of Grey anyone?), and are so discrete that they’re worthy of outright display.

For instance there is a sex tech product design revolution from a trio of vibrators by fuseproject for Jimmy Jane. fuseproject is a major industrial designer doing work for Jawbone, One Laptop Per Child, and Sodastream—mainstream consumer products—and also creating these three vibrators.

In a book aptly titled, Objects of Desire (Schiffer, 2015), Journalist Rita Orrell documents some of the most advanced sex tech invented in recent years, chronicling how designers, retailers, and marketers have shifted the cultural perception of these items. “You have to evaluate sex toys as you would any industrial design object,” Orrell says. “They can’t just be beautiful things—they have to have a certain level of functionality.” That means considering the latest material science and hardware breakthroughs that contributed to many of those products, like the shift to wireless power in lieu of bulky batteries. “The big change was the use of silicone as a material,” Orrell says. “The movement from toxic to body-safe materials really propelled the industry forward.

These are five of the most innovative items:



AI adult toy with bio feedback

Hum Artificially Intelligent Vibrator by Dimensional Industries
Designed by two physicists and a cocktail waitress turned “biohacker,” this vibrator uses artificial intelligence to analyze the feedback from a user’s body and respond. “The most interesting product in the vibrator category is the Hum, which is the first AI vibrator,” Orrell says. “It has an incredibly complex system that uses thousands of lines of code to analyze the feedback of your body and responds in sync to draws out and accentuates an orgasm—it knows when you’re getting an organism and tries to make it better.”

The device was funded on IndieGoGo last year, and Orrell sees potential for the technology to be integrated with sex dolls. “This is the beginning of robotic sex,” she says. “We’re at the beginning stages of fully functioning sex robots.”

Teledildonics for remote sex

Onyx and Pearl by Kiroo


Developed by the Dutch company Kiroo, this male masturbator—the Onyx—and female vibrator—the Pearl—work in tandem for couples to use. They’re part of an emerging genre of toys called teledildonics, which are made for remote sex, and they use capacitive touch technology (the same tech that’s probably inside your laptop’s track pad) to allow one user to control the other’s device.

“What’s interesting about this is it’s an immersive experience that supports video and audio—you can Skype with each other while using the toys,” Orrell says. “It is where phone sex has evolved to. You’re feeling a sensation created by your partner and are able to react through video and audio.”

Open source smart phone connected


Mod open-source vibrator by Comingle
Orrell describes this as a DIY vibrator for the sex-tech geek that wants to hack their own toy. Made by an Atlanta-based company, the open-source device can be operated with custom apps or “plug-and-play controllers that sync it with your partner’s heartbeat, connect it to your smartphone, or even change intensity based on movement in a video call,” Orrell writes.

Crowd sourced design


Flex vibrator by Crave
Another emerging design trend? Using beta testers to develop a better final product, as is quite common in other product design industries. Take Flex: to develop this vibrator’s settings, the product’s designers crowd-sourced information. Beta testers recorded the vibrations that they liked the most and the designers aggregated the data—using it to inform the settings on the final product. “People are having a say in what they want,” Orrell says.

Wearable tech


Bluemotion wearable vibrator by OhMiBod
When we talk about wearable tech, it’s rarely in the context of sex toys. The Bluemotion is a Bluetooth enabled, app-controlled clitoral vibrator that’s shaped like a panty liner and designed to be worn. Users can pair it with their smartwatch or smartphone to operate it. The Bluemotion comes with preset vibrations, an option to use an accelerometer-based control, and the ability to create custom vibrations by tapping the app’s on-screen interface. “This is where app-controlled devices are going—to create a truly custom experience for the user,” Orrell says. “People have different needs and every vibration doesn’t work for everyone.”

Throughout Objects of Desire, the emphasis is on the sheer diversity of designs—and inclusivity of all use cases. Orrell intended the book to be for anyone of any gender or orientation, covering products like the Semenette—an anatomically correct dildo developed by a lesbian couple that allows for a more natural insemination process—and the Pulse II “guybrator,” which helps men with erectile dysfunction and those who have mobility issues.

Source: Objects Of Desire

Source all Photos: Schiffer


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Digital nomad, world trekker, Space memorabilia marketer, Product designer. Blogger,specializing in original and unique content.

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