Touch-Enabled Social Networks Will Grant Lovers Freaky Future
An array of companies are rapidly creating the sex-tech needed for long-distance physical contact
Florida-based startup FriXion wants to blow current virtual sex and teledildonics options out of the water with its upcoming namesake social network.
Eschewing small steps and wants, the startup wants to start a revolution. One that “that will bring with it an unprecedented opportunity for sexual empowerment, freedom, security, exploration, and access” through groundbreaking sex tech.
By providing an online social space for would-be virtual partners — a space which will support reciprocal functionality in existing tech-enabled sex toys — the up-and-coming company hopes to change the nature of familiar, fly-by-night, and paid sexual encounters, as illustrated in their rather charming video.
Last year, the team reported that FriXion’s beta version will support mouse and keyboard control, the F1 robot, the Interactive Fleshlight, the Fleshlight Accelerometer, the Virtual Sex Stroker, and the Diltron sex machine, all of which mimic a partner’s movements and actions.
FriXion spokesperson Seth (who’s maintained anonymity so far) pointed out that, with a starting price of $40, the V2 wristband accelerometer may be a user’s cheapest option for interactive gear; he noted, however, that the sophisticated F1 robot — “currently the only way to have a meaningful bidirectional experience” — will be well worth its $199 price tag: “For the cost of a tablet or an iPhone, you’ve got virtual sex and a frickin robot that does other things.”
A number of other companies are also seeking to help shape the growing high-tech sex industry.
As BetaBeat reported, the Taiwan-based company behind LovePalz is working to kick-start the social teledildonics revolution in a similar vein to FriXion’s efforts, though currently with less equipment. After signing in to the site and browsing other profiles, two matched users can flirt and play in club rooms or private chats using text, video, and even Twist interactive sex toys.
Earlier this month, OhMiBod founder Suki Dunham and her team announced the company’s upcoming app for enhancing its wearable sex toys by bringing biometric feedback-based functionality to the already very smart, remote-controllable blueMotion line. Her perspective on the tech’s usefulness, however, does not involve connecting with far-away strangers in lieu of nearby ones; she hopes, rather, to “enhance relationships that already exist or create new ones. It was never a replacement of human interaction,” Dunham told The Kernel. “I don’t see human beings wanting to part with human touch. Ever.”
Outside the realm of virtual sexy time, the MIT Media Lab’s Tangible Media Group is exploring the possibilities of using objects, surfaces, and spaces as “tangible embodiments of digital information and processes” for human interfaces. The MIT team, too, hopes to offer the value of human touch to those unable to be physically together; using force-feedback technology, the group’s projects seek to “create the illusion that people, separated by distance, are interacting with a shared physical object.”
Looking ahead, the FriXion team hopes to get its service ready to support the gamut of sexy connections in the near future; Seth noted to Nerve that site’s beta version “will initially [allow] users to meet, have sex, and transact payments between each other using an e-wallet.” His ambition for the social network, however, extends well beyond peer-to-peer interaction; as Seth told ABC.au, he hopes to bring the site up to the level that’ll allow a user “to go into a virtual room [that’s] populated with avatars and ideally you wouldn’t be able to tell if you’re having sex with a human or a bot” all within a year. He added, “I think that opens up some really interesting possibilities.”
With FriXion’s sexbots soon to be loose on the net and smart, learning, eager-to-please toys like Hum coming over the horizon, it’s possible that human sexuality and relationships are about to get quite a bit more complicated.
Lead image: Jura Photography // Creative Commons