Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

CES: Sex-toy firm revoked for hands-free device slam 'sexist' awards

Apple Privacy Mobile Ahead of CES Apple puts up billboard touting iPhone security Yoni Heisler @edibleapp
Lloyd Bates | 11 January, 2019, 11:10

A sign for the annual Consumer Electronics Show is seen in Las Vegas, on January 6, 2015.

Lora DiCarlo was given an honouree for its Ose Massager at the CES Innovation Awards robotics and drones category. 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. In October, the company was notified that it had been selected as an honoree in the Robotics and Drone product category. The startup's founder and CEO, Lora Haddock (pictured above), has also gone on a PR offensive.

Administrators initially cited a certain rule, saying entries deemed to be "immoral, obscene, indecent, profane, or not keeping with" the organization's image will be disqualified. Thus keeping in view CTA's image, the organisers chose to disqualify the product.

Douglas Layman, a general partner for the partnership backing Lora DiCarlo, said in a statement the startup was taking aim at a market that is poised to boom. All we have to go off of right now is the information provided by Haddock on the company's website.

Or Naughty America, which showcased its virtual reality porn at CES in 2016 and is back this year with its augmented reality porn app that allows users to use their smartphone cameras to display erotic pole dancers. And while attending CES gives attendees insight into the future of the digital world, the onslaught of messages through technology in the moment becomes overwhelming.

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CTA Deputy General Counsel Kara Maser acknowledged Lora DiCarlo's frustration, but affirmed the product's ineligibility, "even if your submission was mistakenly allowed in the first instance". So-called "booth babes", women demoing products clad in high heels and not much else, were the norm at CES until only recently. For example, Abyss Creations has showed off sex robots at the Las Vegas tradeshow. The company says people who don't want to buy one can use it at a Soma store.

Given its record, it should be easy to cast CES as a chauvinist villain.

In 2017 and 2018, for example, they failed to feature any female keynote speakers - something that caused significant backlash and the organisers have sought to rectify this year by ensuring four of its nine such speaking spots are filled by women. That award was in the Digital Health and Fitness Product category.

Of course, the celebration was cut short when Haddock got notice the award had been revoked because of the product's so-called profanity. The Arouser for Her was created to be used before sex to help improve women's libidos.

Apple does not have an official presence at CES this year, where Google takes up a sizable footprint, tripling its size from last year, CNBC reported. "[The Consumer Technology Association] has communicated this position to Lora DiCarlo".

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