High-Tech Sex? Porn Flirts With the Cutting Edge

The porn industry peddles a product as old as Adam and Eve, and it's always found the most cutting edge ways to do it.

It's no accident that each year as the Consumer Electronics Show winds down in Las Vegas, the Adult Entertainment Expo heats up. Bespectacled techies cross paths with corseted porn stars selling high-tech sex toys and tools of all shapes and sizes.

Some say technology revolutions like the VHS format, video chatting and the digital delivery of content got a boost from the tech-savvy purveyors and fans of adult fantasy, but the fruits of the tech-adult marriage take a variety of forms.

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Every year, scattered between the many booths showcasing porn perennials -- XXX movies, traditional accessories and attire -- are a few vendors that take technology to a whole new, sometimes head-scratching, level. And there's no subject or function too taboo or outrageous. Here are a few examples:

World's First Sex Robot

Douglas Hines is an electrical engineer and computer scientist who formerly worked on artificial intelligence at AT&T Bell Laboratories. But you won't find him pitching gadgets at CES.

Instead, he's manning a booth at the AEE where he's unveiling his latest creation: Roxxxy, the latest "sex robot" from the company Truecompanion.com.

Hines combined his background with the expertise of 18 artists and engineers from three countries to create a robot designed to "deliver the best in robot sex."

The project cost between $500,000 and $1 million and took about 2½ years to create, Hines said.

"It's really a labor of love," said Hines. He declined to release the robot's retail price until Saturday, which is the day Roxxxy officially goes on sale.

Customers interested in a Roxxxy companion can ask the company to customize the robot for their personal preferences. To create a robot that looks and acts like an ideal mate, customers fill out a questionnaire to give engineers clues about the robot's personality.

Though the prototype robot is modeled after a Caucasian fine arts student and is 5 feet 7 inches tall and 120 pounds, customers can choose hair color, eye color and other features, Hines said.

But even though Roxxxy is "always on," her attraction isn't supposed to be about only sex.

According to True Companion's Web site, she "can carry on a discussion and expresses her love to you and be your loving friend. She can talk to you, listen to you and feel your touch."

RealTouch to Make Women Obsolete?

Another gadget at the AEE is attempting to substitute technology for the real thing.

RealTouch, from AEBN (Adult Entertainment Broadcast Network), is a personal device for men that claims to provide "the authentic sexual experience they desire when a partner, for whatever reason, isn't available."

Touted by the company as a "Wii for men," the device syncs up with adult content video on a TV or computer screen to simulate the activities taking place in the movie.

But AEBN says that though the application is adult, its roots are high-tech. The low-profile engineer behind the gadget (whom the company says does not like to be named) used to work in the Human Perception Lab at NASA's Ames Research Laboratory, according to the company.

RealTouch, which looks like a rectangular box with an orifice in the front, relies on haptic technology developed in the lab. Two belts inside the device are programmed to give the user tactile feedback that coincides with special videos that are haptically encoded.

The company believes the device could have applications beyond the adult industry. Scott Rinaldo, a project manager with AEBN, said the company has been in touch with sexologists and doctors who work with veterans and men with various medical conditions to figure out applications that could help them.

"There are a lot of medical problems -- premature ejaculation, guys with prostate problems, handicapped people," he said. "I think by the end of the year we may introduce a whole new product line that's non-porn related, that has a complete medical application.

In the meantime, AEBN is marketing RealTouch with the question: "Will a New Gadget for Men Make Women Obsolete?"

But in a statement, the company's CEO Scott Coffman said, "On the other hand, it could be a relationship saver. If guys like Tiger Woods, Mark Sanford and Eliot Spitzer had a RealTouch, their marriages might not be in such turmoil today."

OhMiBod Vibrates to the Music

OhMiBod is what happens when a former Apple employee starts an adult company. Started by Suki Dunham in 2006, OhMiBod sells music-enabled vibrators that plug into iPods, iPhones and similar players.

"Our tagline is basically where tech and pleasure come together," said Dunham.

The company's first device plugs into any iPod, iPhone or smartphone with a 3.5 mm jack. The new version, which is $130, is wireless and works with iPods and other MP3 players, as well as home speaker systems.

"When I started OhMiBod the whole premise was to bring self pleasure mainstream, I wanted a woman to feel as comfortable pulling an OhMiBod product off the shelf as they would an iPod," Dunham said.

Porn Goes 3-D

It's the buzz word of the year over at CES, so it's not surprising that a new AEE vendor is unveiling an adult 3-D package this year.

"Bad Girls in 3D" is a new company selling a 3D entertainment package -- a 60-inch 3D TV, a micro-computer, proprietary software, glasses and a monthly subscription for adult content. The price tag: $3,999.99.

"For several decades, the adult entertainment industry has driven adoption of every significant new entertainment delivery system -- the VHS home-video craze in the 1980s, the satellite television mania in the 1990s and the present day Internet," Lance Johnson of Bad Girls in 3D said in a statement. "2010 and beyond will be all about 3D. Society's enthusiasm for 3D films is largely responsible for the record $10 billion in box office revenues in 2009."

The TVs will be a Mitsubishi 3D TV, but the company declined to name the supplier of the 3D glasses.

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