Smart sex toys are still like the early days of smart phones

A device for hands-free fun with cell phone control.

OK, yes, smartphones are now so ubiquitous that we’ve even dropped the space between the words, but smart sex toys – teledildonics to you and me – still have a long way to go before they’re  anywhere close to generally accepted by the mainstream or even convenient to use.

In many ways, the ‘smart sex toys’ available now are like the very first smartphones to go on sale. Functional? Sure. Enjoyable even, but not yet close to perfect.

However, they’re not a patch on what we have today, a decade later, in the form of the iPhone X, S8+ or any other top-end handset. Early smartphones pretty much always had resistive screens (rather than capacitive), were inelegantly designed, suffered horrendous lag when trying to do anything and had absolutely no chance at getting through a full day without being charged at least once.

Teledildonics devices – for both men and women, though a bigger problem for men currently – are still in a similar state. We’re still working out what’s possible, what’s worthwhile for the experience and what ultimately detracts. It’s the same process of iteration that any new market will go through.

fleshlight launch side

Consider the Fleshlight Launch, for example. It’s a hugely enjoyable, relatively long-lasting device that brings something genuinely new to the table (this isn’t a judgement call on other devices, I’m sure some of those are great too), but it’s also a champagne bucket-sized, and weighs a whopping 2KG. Clearly, compromises have been made somewhere along the line to get this thing to market before the tech allows for it to be smaller, lighter and ultimately more convenient.

As I said, this is by no means to pick on the Fleshlight Launch, for either the positive or the negative. Consider instead some of the alternatives, like the SayberX that entirely got around the battery life issue by making it mains powered. Yep, you read that right. You’ll be plugged into the SayberX and it’ll be plugged into the wall running off mains power. To me, that makes the whole proposition a whole lot less enticing.

The first phone I owned that I considered ‘smart’ was the Sony Ericsson P800 – it had a huge screen, a camera and could surf the real internet – not just WAP sites. At the time, it was pretty much all I wanted in a phone, but looking back, it seems positively archaic even though it was just 15 years ago.

I get the feeling we’ll have a similar thoughts about sextech 15 years from now to, and yes, that’ll include sex robots too.

Read next: Complete Guide to Adult VR

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Ben Woods is a passionate journalist, editor, and media adviser who not only brought SEXTECHGUIDE to life but keeps it running smoothly on a day-to-day basis. Before embarking on this exciting journey, Ben's work reached millions of people through reputable publications such as WIRED, TrustedReviews, The Inquirer, V3, CNET, ZDNet, and The Next Web, among many more. Ben dives deep into the realms of tech, sex, and the future on SEXTECHGUIDE, inviting readers to explore the intriguing intersection of these domains.

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