Next generation sex toys pushing the boundaries

But how do you disrupt an established market with your own twist? An industry that is seen as a taboo subject amongst a large number of people, the need to innovate in the correct way is essential. Two next generation sex toys have created a buzz overseas by thinking outside the box. 

Vibease, the world’s first wearable smart vibrator, certainly made an impact when they launched their crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. With an aim of raising $15,000, they exceeded imagination by raising $130,425. Impressive eh?

Global media organisations have picked up on the brand, with Forbes, Mashable, TechCrunch, The Huffington Post and The Guardian to name but a few all giving Vibease coverage. Hermione insists the combination of innovation and delivering a unique service is behind the success. 

Hot Octopuss - a revolutionary sex toy brand - have disrupted the same industry but with a different target audience. They launched their product PULSE earlier this year hoping to become a favourite with males looking for something different. 

Creating a revolutionary product can’t be easy but the interest is for all to see. Adam admitted that he had a queue of male friends going around the block willing to test the toy. So next generation sex toys are quite obviously helping the industry grow. 

But we wanted to find out more. We caught up with both Hermione and Adam to get know more about their brands and what the future holds for Vibease and Hot Octopuss. 

Hey Hermione, what’s the Vibease story?

Hermione: Vibease was born out of a necessity for something better than Skype sex­. Vibease’s co­-founder Dema Tio was based in Boston, his wife back in Singapore. As a computer engineer he wasn’t satisfied that with all the technology in the world there wasn’t a better solution for keeping the intimacy alive in long­ distance relationships.

It’s estimated there are currently 18 million people in long­ distance relationships in the world, many of Vibease’s current customers are veterans serving in the Middle East who use Vibease to keep the intimacy alive in their marriages from the other side of the world.

Most sex toys on the market only offer the physical stimulation to help women reach orgasm, with Vibease’s bluetooth connected device we offer both physical and the mental by creating a vibrator that works in sync with the content in the app.

Hey Adam, you’ve created a revolutionary product - how did you go from idea to trading?

Adam: Where to begin? Well the first thing we did was contact and interview a number of design agencies who we hoped would turn our “alternative” idea into a reality. Unfortunately, this sounds easier than it was in practice as half of the design agencies quite literally ran for their lives when they understood what product we were trying to create. 

Once we had eventually found an appropriate agency, we spent the next three years in product development whilst simultaneously approaching potential industry partners in the US and Europe and manufacturers in China. 

As well as spending a lot of time with lawyers, engineers and designers, much of our time was spent building our network, so to speak. This meant attending industry trade shows and warming up both distributers and retailers for when the product was finally ready. 

We ended up doing an incredibly thorough job here as the product took around two years’ longer to make than expected. This meant that by the time PULSE hit the market, the industry was more than ready for it and we sold over 10, 000 units in the first six months of trading. 

Why do you think there’s a sudden increase of next generation sex toys?

Hermione: People are waking up to the fact that technology can give users a personalised experience. Most vibrators you find on the high street at stores like Ann Summers sell vibrators with only six or seven settings, with Vibease the vibrator is fully customisable because it is controlled via our iPhone and android apps.

We believe the world will be a better place when woman can organism as easily as men. There are huge health benefits of reaching the female orgasm including lowering your blood pressure and reducing anxiety and stress. Vibease aims to help women reach climax quicker as our vibrator stimulates both the body and the mind because there is the physical element of the vibrator and our erotic in­-app story books like 50 Shades Of Grey where the device vibrates in sync to the story book.

Talking of Ann Summers, how do you create relationships with big name retailers?

Adam: As I was explaining, we spent a lot of time meeting and talking to the industry and key players. We approached Ann Summers very early on in the process. Getting a meeting was relatively easy as they particularly like our concept and believed our product would do very well. 

As with all of the contacts we had made whilst PULSE was being developed, they had to wait quite a while until the product was eventually completed, but this gave them an opportunity to feedback to us on early models – something we really valued from all our early retail partners. We are very grateful for the patience in this regards and I guess now PULSE is finally on the market it was certainly worth their while.

How important do you think it is to push boundaries in business?

Hermione: We live in a time when the cost of innovation has decreased dramatically so now anybody can do anything. If you don’t push boundaries or try and solve an existing problem you won’t get much attention for your idea or service.

So what’s the process of testing such product? 

Adam: To start with I had a queue of male friends going around the block willing to test the toy. To the delight of my friends, family and later on many independent focus groups, we carried out extensive testing and refinement to ensure we got PULSE just right.

How has the initial reaction from customers been?

Hermione: Incredible­ we have had customers say our vibrator has changed their lives! Many of our customers are veterans currently serving overseas ­ they use the long­ distance feature to keep the intimacy alive in their relationships. We are aiming to be both the physical and mental stimulation for long distance relationship communication.

And how do you think the market has developed over the last few years?

Hermione: Technology and the decrease in the cost of hardware production has enabled many entrepreneurs to easily get their ideas into production. The possibilities of wearable technology is endless and we are seeing it in fashion where materials are giving quantified feedback to customers. 

There’s plenty of inspiration and lessons to take away from both Vibease and Hot Octopuss. Pushing the boundaries is essential in business and with competition fierce, innovation MUST be on the to-do list.

What do you make of next generation sex toys? Let us know in the comments box below!

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