Inside, Robot – TechCrunch
Before the robots replace us, we will make love to them. This point becomes more and more clear as I wander through the bizarre world of teledildonics and marvel at the leaps and bounds by which technology – once in the realm of fantasy – has become a mundane reality. .
If you are nervous or disgusted about human sexuality, I beg you to click now or visit another, more palatable site. As it stands, I think this topic is part of technological advancement, no matter how spongy it looks.
Because I write on teledildonics, I was invited to visit a site called Flirt4Free [NSFW] where, women, dressed or undressed, broadcast themselves live in their small jewel rooms. It’s kind of a Proto-Gibsonian sex club where everyone smiles and you, the user, can take a quick peek before deciding and requesting a paid show which usually consists of a slow striptease. The ladies, who went in style and fetish served, were all charming and beautiful and it is very clear why a lonely man or women frequented their haunts. The human gaze, even on the Internet, is an important thing.
The site recently activated something called the Kiiroo and fitted some of the women with white dildos, called Pearls, which respond to touch along the tip and sides. On the other end, a user is docking with something called the Onyx. It is a wireless masturbator (a sex pot) with a motorized arm that slides up and down. Originally intended for those who have long-distance relationships, this system now allows strangers to “fit in” securely with each other over vast distances.
The site presents a few women equipped with Kiiroo under the “Interactive” section. You choose one. When you initiate a session, the women languidly activate their pearls while the user on the other end lights their Onyx. The Onyx takes a while to connect on OS X but when it’s ready to go, it starts to hum rhythmically like a drone ready to take off. The user must lubricate the device before entering. The women then use the Pearl and the sensations are transferred to the Onyx.
Then begins the real test of your sexual courage. Having sex with the Onyx is like mating with a 3D printer. The motors hum, the machine wiggles, and the system tries to mimic the on-screen action with a delay of about a second. As you can imagine, it’s a hodge-podge of sensations that are both pleasant and slightly disturbing. But it’s not a quiet pastime, as the engine is as loud as a broken Furby.
Was it nice? Yes and no. The titillation of the living person on the other end was fun, admittedly, but the device itself was, for lack of a better word, imprecise. It’s an exciting prospect, of course, and worth a look if you’re into that sort of thing.
But the price – around six dollars a minute for the tour and $ 369 for the Kiiroo – is pretty steep. The Kiiroo was originally intended for couples, but this solution, apparently one of the first of its kind, is for those who would be willing to spend the money to be released.
As a former regular at sex pot testing, the Kiiroo paired with the site was definitely something different. The Kiiroo can also be paired with specially encoded videos which are much better in sync. While the Kiiroo and a computer are a masturbatory experience, a Kiiroo and a human on a screen is something a little different. It’s private, it makes you slightly vulnerable, and thanks to the humming motors, you feel a little awkward. As technology improves, however, I can see a real benefit for this system. It’s human, it allows for interaction that isn’t normally associated with an act of personal pleasure, and with more immersive experiences, I think it will be well worth the price of admission.
In the end, does the Kiiroo replace the company? Absolutely not. Can it help a long distance relationship? Potentially. Is this a smart variant of the standard webcam model? Absoutely. The system, no matter if it’s sterile or robotic, can mimic privacy via a high-profile platform and it’s pretty fun. While the costs can be potentially disastrous (I remember when I was a teenager and my friend once called sex lines with reckless obsession with all of his friends’ homes for a period of six months, resulting in massive phone bills) the prudent user will hopefully know when to fold.
Am I worried about Kiiroo? No. When we give robots power over the last thing that makes us human, we risk losing everything for them. I’m not worried we’ll be lost to Kiiroo anytime soon, but his upcoming offspring, paired with VR and everything we make up, will rock us in weird worlds that will be harder and harder to escape. Perhaps, dangerously, many of us will want to make the trip and some of us will want to stay longer than we should. To paraphrase the bard: “How beautiful humanity is! O brave new world, which has no such robots.