The business-logic of Silicon Valley means that it can only make creepy, surveillant, pointless "smart" sex toys


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/27/surveillance-dildos.html


#2

But Silicon Valley keeps reinventing the insight that one of the few areas of peoples’ lives that isn’t widely represented in the vast databanks of the surveillance-industrial complex is their sex lives

I’m not so sure about that. I am pretty sure porn sites and ISP’s sell that data.

But here’s a question: How can we know that they do, besides assuming that because it’s lucrative to do so that they must?


#3

I don’t know much, but I know a good old back massager can get the job done and doesn’t need anything fancy.


#4

This isn’t going to change any time soon.

What an understatement.


#5

Why would Silicon Valley make any other kind of sex toy? If you want to make a company selling a buzzing piece of rubber, you can do that from anywhere in the world and there’s no reason to pay the high salaries and rents required in the Bay area.


#6

There’s always going to be no end of people pitching bad ideas, the message here should be to VCs to stop giving them money. But really I just can’t be bothered to care much about dumb rich people wasting their money on bad ideas. It’s hard to imagine that companies making good products will just stop?


#7

My favorite is the social network for sex toys. I saw a demo last year at a convention (of the network, not the toy), and they claimed to have tens of thousands of active users. It was aimed at Asian markets though. I can’t imagine a strong demand in the US, or even in Asian markets really. The big feature was posting “patterns” and up/down voting on how well the pattern “worked”.


#8

Ugh. Even if that concept took off, it just leads to one-size fits all sexual experiences.


#9

“Juiceros for your junk”. Brilliant.

However I predict with >99% confidence that this will be the strap(on?) line for a connected erotic contrivance marketing campaign some time very soon :grimacing:


#10

On the topic of useless overpriced gadgets, this is one I keep seeing pitches for:

From what I’ve read, if you like bad tasting overpriced roti, this is the machine for you! I wonder how many roti you’d need to make to make your money back. 10,000?


#11

thanks to the giants’ sex-squeamishness

I was thinking about that while browsing twitter or facebook, those companies makes a lot of efforts to ban and censor adult content.
But sex, eroticism and pornography are a part of everyone’s life, so why not thinking about it ahead and giving it a dedicated space ? It’s like if they discover that people have genitalia after they build the platform.


#12

Juiceros? What is that? A dong of fire and ice?


#13

So much warning stickers !


#14

It’s a good thing that the sex toy industry will keep chugging along just fine without Silicon Valley. Perhaps one day, all those VCs will retire and we’ll finally be free of that form of stupidity.


#15

There’s actually a bigger problem here. Capital has gotten spoiled. They are only interested in selling razor blades since that guarantees them a long run cash flow. There is no interest in producing actual razors since those are one time purchases. The fact that it is possible to sell a razor, then a better razor and so on, does not provide adequate cash flow, and it requires continued spending on research and development. Our capitalist system wants rents, not innovation.

In other words, it is impossible to raise money for actual new products. New services can be funded, but product oriented innovation is shunned as not profitable enough. Even when a product is funded and sold, look at Nest or Pebble, it is evaluated by the money people only in terms of razor blade sales. It’s all about the cash flow from the related services. Worse, there has to be a mechanism for capturing that cash flow. The means we won’t be seeing serious home automation because that would require an open, secure home management API/protocol.

This, of course, will end when the next new product comes out, but I expect it will be an accidental offshoot of a services offered startup.


#16

MyPersonalSpace?
OFacebook?


#17

wait ok so the idea is a strap on that with one setting vibrates at a pleasurable orgasm inducing speed during usage calculated using machine learning algorithms, the second setting allows you to make smoothies out of basically anything you put into a fleshlight.
Fleshlight smoothies with pulped up coconut, pineapple whatever, our strapulator straps that stuff to pieces! And also it really does the business on your naughty bits, you’ll love it!


#18

Somewhere, there is a startup trying to figure out how to brick a sextoy if you use non-proprietary lube…


#19

Selling hardware does not have exponential growth potential, because people only need so many sex toys…

Oh, I dunno, I think those boys up at Malheur Wildlife Refuge needed a whole box of dildos!


#20

SitOnMyFaceBook.