Published on 06.07.2016
So real is virtual pornography
An unwritten rule of the Internet since its beginnings is that every new technological development is inevitably used first for the sexual stimulation of users. The first commercial user of live video streaming on the net was a Dutch porn company called Red Light District, which offered video streaming more than ten years before Youtube.
The first commercial webcam users were live porn stars, and just over two years ago, sex companies discreetly mingled among the first providers of commercial virtual reality content for mobile devices.
It is therefore only logical that the industry now also uses the latest technology from the field of wearables and artificial intelligence to build erotic toys. According to the analysis of design expert Rita Orell, the erotic toy market is currently rapidly developing into a lifestyle topic and offers young designers a real opportunity to establish new products away from the dingy atmosphere of classic sex shops. On the Internet and with the help of crowdfunding, a new generation of taboo-free tech start-ups is starting to design the sex toys of the future.
Under the name” Wisp”, for example, the Taiwanese industrial designer Wan Tseng has designed several erotic toys that are not only intended to directly stimulate users, but rather to simulate the gentle touch of a lover on the whole body. An arm and a collar are more reminiscent of modern sports wearables than of classic sex toys, they are intended to reproduce breath or touch with miniature vibrators, blowers or speakers.
The sex wearables should connect to the smartphone via Bluetooth and be controlled via app. Users can measure their own pulse with the bracelet to transmit their own excitation to the partner via smartphone app.
Designer Wan Tseng comments that Wisp wearables are not classic toys for stimulation, but rather a means of communicating a new female sexuality. However, Wisp is still only a concept-whether the wearables will actually be produced has not yet been decided.
This is quite different with one of the currently most successful sex projects on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, the vibrator “Hum”. Hum was designed by two physicists Jonathan Driscoll and Aaron Hammack in California, marketing on the crowdfunding platform was handled by marketing specialist Sunny Allen.
The idea behind the device: switching on and setting is eliminated. The vibrator responds to pressure and movement. Using a software algorithm, the hardware combination of sensors and the Arduino miniature computer is used to decide for itself how much the vibrator stimulates the user and when.
What’s more, the developers have built their hardware on the basis of the open source environment of the Arduino project, so that other developers can design their own algorithms and apps to control the device-for example, a combination with a virtual reality environment in which “Hum” vibrates to match the VR content would be conceivable.
Thanks to 3D printing, designers can now offer personalized sex toys more easily than ever before. The pioneer is the German software project “Dildo Generator”, which leaves users the design of their own sex toys. Users can exchange designs themselves and either take over the printing of casting molds or toys themselves or leave it to local 3D printing companies.
Virtual reality is currently one of the strongest drivers of erotic technology development. Various porn companies are currently working on how VR glasses can be used to display 360-degree porn. The pioneer of the industry is the Spanish sex start-up “Virtual Real Porn”, which has been developing the necessary camera technology and its own playback software for VR glasses for two years. This is necessary because the official manufacturer app stores of VR pioneers such as the Facebook subsidiary Oculus usually ban pornography as VR content.
The Spanish VR porn software for smartphones already supports the interactive vibrator sextoys of the start-up Lovense. Again, the idea is that the devices can be remotely controlled via smartphone app. With the help of the app, two Lovense users can also synchronize the movements of their toys via the Internet connection of the smartphone-and thus experience joint sex even though they are spatially separated.
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