Published: Fri, January 11, 2019
Business | By Pearl Harrison

Sex toy maker blasts CES over award flip-flop

Sex toy maker blasts CES over award flip-flop

"Our nearly entirely female team of engineers is developing new micro-robotic technology that mimics all of the sensations of a human mouth, tongue, and fingers, for an experience that feels just like a real partner," Haddock wrote in a blog post.

The reason suggested for this could be sexism as the company is founded and led primarily by women.

There are also other high-tech gadgets that help with health and wellness.

The innovative look and mechanics are even more impressive considering Osé is the first product out of Lora Dicarlo, a small company that's just 1-and-a-half years old.

Why then, did it go to the judging panel in the first place? It should be mentioned, though, that a year ago at CES, robotics company Abyss Creations debuted a realistic sex doll targeted at men-in the video interview with Christopher Trout, the company's spokesman stated that a male model of the robot was in the works as well.

Now the startup's founder Lora Haddock has hit back in an open letter published earlier this week detailing the different explanations from the organisation that have been given for revoking the award. But then CTA backtracked.

When Haddock pressed the CTA about this, she received a followup email from CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro and executive vice-president Karen Chupka, this time with no mention of obscenity.

"Seriously? Our product that was designed in partnership with a top university robotics engineering laboratory (Oregon State University has ranked the #4 ranked Robotics Lab in the US), inspiring the genesis of OSU Professor John Parmigiani's Prototype Development Lab", Haddock wrote in the blog post.

"The product referenced does not fit into any of our existing product categories and should not have been accepted for the Innovation Awards Program", CTA told Fortune in a statement.

The market for sex products such as vibrators and lubricant is projected to grow to $37.2 billion globally by the year 2022, according to British sex toy retailer MysteryVibe. Also, there's a VR porn company that regularly exhibits at the event, giving men the freedom to watch porn through headsets while standing in the middle of the conference.

"It seems to us that products that are explicitly allowed for men in an explicit sexual nature are allowed more of a pass than products that are geared toward female pleasure and female sexuality", Haddock said.

Apple, has traditionally, never maintained a strong presence at CES.

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