Flutterby™! : Sex toys meet technology?

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Sex toys meet technology?

2004-02-27 16:42:35.788263+00 by Dan Lyke 21 comments

Idea of dubious value of the moment: Most of you out there in Flutterby land have, at one point or another, probably played with something akin to remote controlled vibrating panties. Some of you have probably gone out for the evening wearing other devices strategically placed or inserted.

I got to thinking "what about smarter vibrating panties", thinking about controls with sliders driving mechanisms which could stroke rather than just wiggle, and then realized that what'd be cooler is if the remote interface weren't a simple on-off switch, but were something wired into someone else's sexual response. Moisture and movement sensors reading from someone else's strategically placed devices, with the communication being two-way.

Now this could be a point-to-point technology, something for two people to share surreptitiously at an evening out at the movies or a show or somesuch, where you know that you're wearing something, but all of a sudden you discover what really turns your partner on (warning, to be mixed with today's other mention only with people about whom you really want to know). Or could be something with a limited range to be experienced at a club feeding off the signals of those dancing around you, kind of a surreptitious low-grade safe-sex orgy sort of thing.

I'm seeing something like a shared packet network, maybe wireless CAN bus on 433MHz, talking to a controller with maybe a few circuits that can switch an amp or so at 5v for vibrators (no need for an H-bridge 'cause reverse doesn't matter, PWM for speed control), have a servo controller or three for things with other motion, then have a bunch of analog inputs for strain gauges and moisture sensors. There'd need to be an interface of some sort for mapping responses to actions, but I think this has prospects.

[ related topics: Wireless Erotic Sexual Culture Dan's Life Robotics Cool Technology Embedded Devices Next Gen Sex Toys ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-02-27 18:39:39.761272+00 by: meuon

Sure beats just El-Wire at a rave/party. Is this not what bluetooth is good for?

#Comment Re: made: 2004-02-27 18:49:30.187491+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think Bluetooth[Wiki] would probably be just fine, unfortunately it's hard to make such a device in small quantities for a reasonable amount. 433MHz transmitters and receivers are less than $6 and $4 respectively, quantity 1, and since the bandwidth we're talking shouldn't have to be huge it'd be easier to make prototypes with a simpler system that talks something like a MIDI[Wiki] "note, intensity" protocol in a 3 or 4 byte packet with an error correcting code and some collision resolution.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-02-27 18:56:14.647554+00 by: ziffle

Its posts like this that remind me that in many ways Mayberry is different from SF and my thinking could be expanded.

Ziffle of Mayberry

#Comment Re: made: 2004-02-27 19:59:12.968511+00 by: other_todd

My wife and I were both a little dumbstruck by the phrase, "Most of you out there in Flutterby land have, at one point or another, probably played with something akin to remote controlled vibrating panties."

Our conclusion is that we are clearly, sadly, behind the curve on this particular frontier.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-02-27 20:37:07.405236+00 by: Dan Lyke

Okay, I think this is crystallizing. I'll have to cut a few devices apart to get a feel for current draw, but a little web surfing shows that pager and cell phone vibrating motors draw about 80ma, so it's probably the case that your average vibrator draws less than 800ma and we don't have to worry about stall conditions. So some of the driver circuits can be a 330 Ohm resistor to a 2N2222 transistor. R/C servos require no circuitry to interface to, are available from $10 to $40 depending on torque and size, and with the right mechanism would be perfect for stroking or other slow more precise movements. An ATMega8535 has enough pins and A/D converters that all you really need to add is a crystal, a few capacitors and a diode or two for power supply. So now it's just down to sensors and mechanics, but I've had email exchanges with several people interested in that sort of thing.

Columbine, I'll have to write up a review at some point, I recently saw someone contrasting panties with an embedded bullet vibe with the "butterfly" which is a silicone device with a little more coverage, and I think the technology there yet hasn't been fully explored. But you're welcome to leave the question unanswered, and if pressed just raise an eyebrow and acknowledge that you read Flutterby.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-02-27 21:13:44.760792+00 by: Shawn

I'm not much use with the design and building, but I'd be interested in... helping with the testing phase.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-02-27 22:57:50.073313+00 by: petronius

If each pair of underwear has its own IP address, imagine the possibilities of hacking, to say nothing about adding a whole new dimension to those Nigerian fraud letters...

#Comment Oh, my *Ghod* made: 2004-02-28 05:02:09.553322+00 by: baylink

we are such geeks...

Yeah, Petronius; it adds whole nwe meaning to Packet Internet Groper, doesn't it? Not to mention traceroute.

And the 'public' community of SNMP...

#Comment Re: made: 2004-02-28 07:50:39.671837+00 by: dws

I read that as 'pubic' community of SNMP. I must have a dirty mind.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-02-28 19:27:16.31887+00 by: meuon [edit history]

Too bad IR won't work through clothes. A cheap RF mesh network would be perfect, ala "MeshNetworks or maybe: Virtual Wire. On the high end, would/could you be controlling TENS devices rather than vibrators? - I think the communications protocol should be fairly open.. Hmm.. I can see weird packet headers now, codes like: MSF (Male Seeking Female).. You could configure your unit to detect and respond to just one other unit, or any destined for your type in the room... or a room average.. or..

#Comment Re: made: 2004-02-28 20:11:46.856522+00 by: Dan Lyke

If you could get a transponder outside of clothes, though, then IR solves a whole bunch of problems. Well, okay, one: It gives you a little more selectivity. With RF I see bandwidth and collision issues, with IR you're limited to line of sight, and in a club context you won't have the signals either not be able to get through or be muddled because they're the average of too many people.

TENS devices sound like a fine thing to play with, and I don't think it'd be that difficult to build 'em, I'm just nervous about burns and safety issues. Besides, I remember licking a 9v battery when I was a kid, and I don't want that anywhere near my genitals...

#Comment Re: made: 2004-02-29 04:15:07.024536+00 by: Larry Burton

With IR you could have a whole new type of Lazer Tag game.

#Comment Transponders made: 2004-03-05 05:37:33.211695+00 by: baylink

Ok, we've just redefined Lovegety in a *whole* new way.


#Comment Oh, and Dan? made: 2004-03-05 05:38:37.156345+00 by: baylink

DSSS. Rake receivers.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-05 17:31:34.447082+00 by: Dan Lyke

Thanks for the reminder on the Lovegety, I knew the Japanese had started down this path at some point, just couldn't remember the keywords.

On your second suggestion... A friend of mine has this expression about the escalation of engineering projects: "shooting a beer can to the moon".

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-05 17:33:15.429617+00 by: Dan Lyke

Of course it also occurs to me that with either technology, if the adoption becomes widespread enough the smart DJ will start to incorporate this into the lighting setup...

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-15 23:05:48.752465+00 by: topspin [edit history]

Todd's comment about hacking an already erotic situation with Dan's panties combined in my head with my earlier musing about a theramin-type tent at Burning Man

If hygiene issues could be worked out, one could have an erotic interactive tent (or party-space, if it's not at the burn) in which the stimulation is based on movement/sound/color/whatever.... or an intriquing "key party" idea (which avoids hygiene issues) where couples drop their remotes in a bowl, then choose one randomly and try to identify who belongs to that remote.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-16 13:36:14.894526+00 by: meuon

Digressing.. In London, I ended up at a Fetish Ball ala SkinTwo and saw a neat TENS demonstration.. using a couple at the party: she was on an S&M Dungeon table, feet in the stirrups.. one electrode just above her pubis. He attached the other one to himself, and then used his tongue to stimulate her, after a couple of strokes his head popped up and said "that feels weird on my tongue".. she simply and loudly screamed "DON'T STOP!"..

The Meuon General Warning: Prolonged use of TENS eventually deadens the nerves in the treated area, a desirable effect when being used for pain management, it's original medical purpose. Not a desirable side effect when being used for recreational purposes.

#Comment Joy Dress made: 2004-03-27 01:05:41.521724+00 by: td

This image is from an article about a tech fashion show, as reported at Slashdot.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-27 02:32:01.570049+00 by: Shawn

Funny you should mention that. I sent the pic of the male model (the first one in the slideshow - I didn't continue to see if there were any more) to a friend of mine because the caption said that the phone his company (Wildseed) makes was the item being modeled.

He confirmed my initial reaction that the phone does not appear anywhere in the photo.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-02 12:23:53.054021+00 by: meuon

Crucial Idea: A cell phone interface. Maybe even by a simple text message protocol. Not for parties, but for a long distance tweak or more.