Sex toys have had a long, storied lifespan so far, but in spite of the many advances, one thing has always remained the same: You had to be there to play with them.
I mean, sure, you could have your partner — or several of them — play with you and your sex toys, but that person was geographically required to be in the same place as you.
Kiiroo might be changing this for good.
Kiiroo is a relative newcomer to the world of sex toys. The Amsterdam-based company was founded in April 2013 by Dutch entrepreneur Toon Timmermans, and in less than two years they’ve developed a platform and a couple of devices that can connect through an Internet or BlueTooth connection and actually allow you to feel your partner over the Internet. This is all possible thanks to Teledildonics technology.
Teledildonics (also known as Cyberdildonics or Remote Sex Toys) are pieces of tech that connect with other devices for sexual pleasure. Teledildonic devices send and receive tactile data. Some of them vibrate, some compress and some stroke; but the main idea is that users can truly feel the touch of another person, bringing a certain intimacy that just wouldn’t be available otherwise.
Essentially, what you’re doing when you’re having Skype sex with someone is imagining. Sure, they’re giving you the image and the sounds, but not the actual feel of sex, which is where Kiiroo comes in.
Timmermans thought of the idea while watching the movie Demolition Man. There’s a scene in that film where a guy has virtual sex with a girl by putting on a headset, so Timmermans took that thought and applied it to modern technology. It went through two years of development and improvement, but it’s gotten to the point where it is at now. Kiiroo’s first products will officially be launched on February 2nd.
Kiiroo’s debut line contains three products: Onyx, the male masturbator; Pearl, the female masturbator; and the Platform, which makes all the magic happen and has the capabilities of expanding Kiiroo’s features to a whole new level.
Onyx is the most developed of their masturbators, as its already designed to both send and receive data from other devices. The inside of Onyx is basically a Fleshlight sleeve — Kiiroo partnered with Fleshlight for this product — guaranteeing a trusted and realistic experience right off the bat. What makes the Onyx so special, though, is that it’s Pleasure Core inside has 10 different rings that contract in a pattern that mimics the movements of another person.
“What makes the Onyx different is the fact that it contracts; it doesn’t vibrate, or pump, or fill with air like the other ones on the market,” Alex Legret, Creative Director at Kiiroo, told Badoink. “The rings inside that contract are unique to ours, because they move in sequence, simulating the movement inside a person.”
Pearl is a little more limited in this initial stage, as it can only send information, but this g-spot vibrator is still miles ahead of any competition because of its Teledildonic features. It transmits the touch data from its surface to an Onyx, whose rings will contract at the exact same touch response that the Pearl is experiencing. The outside of the Pearl is touch sensitive, so it knows at what point you’re touching or using the device, and depending on whether you’re at the top, middle or bottom, and how fast you’re going up and down (or in and out), it will send that information to the Onyx, to compress in the motion that creates and simulates the movement of sex.
“That’s what we wanted to do to start with, since we were adamant that women should not just be fucked; it should be the women in control to start with,” Legret explained. “We’re working on a device that does the reverse, so if the woman uses it inside her, it will simulate thrusts inside her, so that’s the next step. But the Pearl is the only vibrator on the market that I’ve found that is touch sensitive — literally, the external part is touch sensitive.”
The Platform is what allows users to transmit video and audio (in a more reliable interface than Skype or similar applications) and most importantly, tactile data. The design and layout look simple, intuitive and elegant.
Another important aspect to mention about this platform — especially in this post-Fappening world we live in — is that it uses web RTC, being able to connect two people on the Internet directly, so another server isn’t involved, and where no personal information in required.
When users log on and they want to connect together, they have a secure password, which is generated randomly. It’s six alphanumeric digits, 17 million combinations. It regenerates every five minutes, and that can be shared via a different platform, a regular application like Whatsapp, for example.
In its initial stage, Kiiroo is marketing its products as a way for people in long distance relationships to stay close and be able to feel their partners, although the idea of expanding into something much bigger is obviously on their minds.
“We started out with the vision that it will be a social network, and it definitely will be, but step one was to make a platform that felt and looked beautiful and intuitive for two people just to communicate; partners or lovers who wanted to focus on making real relationships better for long distance couples, because that’s a real problem now,” Legret said, “And then beyond that, we can apply it to a little bit of social networking or dating community, and we’ll definitely work on that because that’s some people’s preference and that’s their lifestyle.
“We are quite literally doing what we think it’s appropriate, regardless of what the competition is doing, because we’re just looking at how the technology really can bring people back together physically, because mobile technology has done the opposite. It has pushed people apart or given them the ability to be apart; so, we focus on two people, bringing them back together, and that’s a personal thing. But multiple people is definitely where the business opportunity is.”
Kiiroo products are in a category of their own. They’re not necessarily competing with other sex toy companies, or with social hookups platforms either. It’s a unique product at the moment, and something that could eventually become one of the biggest breakthroughs in sex tech.
Of course, one of the main niches where Kiiroo can thrive is with webcam professionals, a massive market that will likely remain popular for a long time, as costumers get to interact with their favorite porn stars or models.
“The webcam community — the girls especially — are making brilliant money; it’s very easy to make money. Everyone involved is happy. It’s literally a win-win-win-win-win,” Legret explained, “So, when they’ve seen our product, they’ve realized the potential, and some girls have even given their biggest followers a raffle and they’ve won some prizes — some of our Onyx devices. So they’ve pre-ordered raffle prize winnings. They’re really excited. It takes it one step further. It’s tease, talk and touch.”
Kiiroo is working closely with webcam companies to develop something that gives costumers the next step of communication with people online. They also plan to have porn stars with their own signature sex toy models. The first one on that list is Bobbi Eden, who is sort of the resident porn star on Dutch TV and one of the biggest adult starlet names in the Netherlands.
“Bobbi still does webcam shows for fun, and she’s pushing our product because she thinks it’s right at the front of everything,” Legret said. “She’s a real good laugh, as well; she’s a very funny lady.”
Bobbi Eden will also get to have the first signature model by Kiiroo. A custom-made sleeve of her molded vagina will be available soon enough. It’ll be their first porn star pussy on their device.
And speaking of porn, if your idea when you first heard of the Onyx was to skip the whole ‘couple approach’ altogether and dive into the solo world of adult films, you will be able to do that, as well. Kiiroo is working to develop pre-recorded data for its star product, in order for it to be accompanied with live 3D porn.
“We’ve spoken to companies that work with Oculus specifically. They’re looking into POV porn, 3D porn. Tactile data is something that we’ve like to pre-record.” Legret added. “You watch a porn movie and we’ve pre-recorded it with the data for the Onyx; so as you watch it, Onyx moves in sync. You don’t have to wank, you just watch it and the girl is on you.”
Kiiroo was also part of a Vice UK documentary in which they paired an Oculus Rift with some porn and Kiiroo devices and had some willing volunteers to test them.
Kiiroo hasn’t even officially debuted their first products yet, but that hasn’t stopped them from getting a lot of talk as one of the most intriguing names when it comes to wearable technologies.
“The CES 2015 is happening right now in Vegas, but in a year’s time I’d love to see Teledildonics at CES for the first time, because I think that will be a game changer, and I would love for our company to be there as one of the first wearable technologies. I think Teledildonics can really change people’s perceptions about what the Internet can do for your daily life.”
The company knows what they’re trying to create is still a niche, and that’s the hardest part, but they’re very optimistic about the interest their products have received, even at this stage. The mainstream capabilities are there.
“First of all, there will be people that want to be the first ones to ever use this. They’ve backed us up already in our Indiegogo campaign. There are regular followers on Twitter. There will also be people who will hear about it by accident and think, ‘maybe I’ll give it a go,’” Legret said confidently. “I think a lot of people might just discover it randomly and it will slowly start creeping into their lives. And then physical interaction online won’t be such a scary thing.”
Kiiroo can also be an amazing platform for those who might want to fool around with strangers without actually ever meeting them in person. As Legret would later put it, “The best thing is when you’re bored, you just press off. Just leave the date!”
Now, wouldn’t you love to be able to do that in real life?
“I think it will help a lot of people with social anxiety as well. Those people who can’t do that first date, or don’t know how to talk in face-to-face situations. I know it gets hard for me when I go on a date, you’re always thinking about how it’s going to go; you think ahead,” Legret confessed. “If you’re on your webcam, just having fun with someone, with no attachment, you can just close it and go. That’s pretty enlightening for a lot of people.”
But more than that, Kiiroo can represent a whole new world for some people looking to escape their own. The limits of virtual reality are being pushed dramatically, and it’s creating new avenues for their expansion.
“I’m looking forward to the virtual reality side of things, personally. Not just for the sex, but as a general comment. I think Facebook is going to go amazing when virtual reality kicks into it,” Legret reflected about the future. “With sex or physical intimacy involved with our product, the world of virtual reality gaming or virtual reality fantasy, or just a second world will be pretty amazing.”