When you consider how clumsily some tech expos have handled sex products in the past, a conference dedicated solely to sextech has been needed for a while. Enter the SxTech symposium.
The inaugural conference took place yesterday, July 1, at the Drivery in Berlin was the first of its kind in the world, looking at the tech and business aspects of sex and femtech while examining entertainment, sex ed, VR, the future of contraception and censorship. Naturally, SEXTECHGUIDE was at the show to get the l
The one-day symposium concluded with a hackathon, inviting developers to pitch innovative products that bring tech and sex together.
Each group had five minutes to pitch their idea to a judging panel that included SxTech CEO Ola Miedzynska, sextech start up agency founder Dominnique Karetsos and technologist and programmer Sabrina Verhage. Each pitch was followed up with questions from the jury.
The winning idea was from Saferr, a team that formed on the day, for a system designed to help keep freelance sex workers safe.
The winning pitch from Saferr
Team leader Jan Jackson opened his pitch by asking: How can he know more about his hotel, the book that he ordered online and his taxi driver than freelance sex workers know about their clients? He was referring to online booking systems, respectively Booking.com, Amazon and Uber, all which keep their workers safe through two-way ratings and secure payments.
These features would be used in the proposed Saferr app, including a background screening of all sex workers’ clients, a two-way rating system and peer-to-peer payments paid by clients directly (for legal reasons).
The system will have a freelancer/client interface, where both worker and client will be able to see necessary information to ensure a safe payment exchange.
Rather than take a share of the commission like other freelance job-matching sites, Saferr would instead offer a flat €10/month subscription rate. Overall, the proposition isn’t a million miles away from platforms like Smooci.
For the moment, Saferr plans to focus on the 34 countries worldwide that have legalized sex work. Jackson also promised that “secure servers will encrypt everything that you give us”, and “our entire existence depends on that promise.”
Don’t go looking for Saferr’s app just yet though – the group didn’t even have a domain at the time of writing. Saferr.com appears to be for sale, though.
The rest of the 2019 SxTech hackathon pitches
It was only a matter of time before an AI chatbot could solve all of your relationship woes. AI counselling apps already exist, and can offer a more affordable alternative to traditional counselling, but a relationship-specific edition is yet to reach the market – and Consilium wants to change this.
You can type questions to the chatbot, asking things like “I feel unattractive” or “I’m having trouble with my partner” and get advice from Australian AI start up Consilium Technology.
Anatomy of Pleasure
According to a US study, only 29% of men and 25% of women can identify the clitoris. Currently, 2D illustrations are slipped into the packaging of sex toys, but a customizable 3D interactive model of genitalia could help educate people across the globe about how sex toys work with your body (it could also help explain menstrual health products, too).
Anatomy of Pleasure is a 3D anatomy manual for sex-related products aiming to reshape how sex education is taught. While at the moment the model proposed is a ‘standardised’ biological vulva, a question raised by the panel led to a discussion about being able to change the characteristics (skin tone, shape, etc) in order to create a truly inclusive product.
The World Health Organisation says sexual pleasure is a human right, and Pop Dot wants to create a product that’ll be the “future of vibrators”. The machine-learning toy would learn what you like from the data it collects, using pressure, movement and temperature sensors to essentially create a personalised vibrator.
As we already know, VR porn is popular. In fact, 500,000 Pornhub users search for it every day, and by the end of 2019, 12 million people will own a VR headset. ‘Please VR’ put together a pitch that aims to change the experience of watching VR porn, proposing two-player experiences – similar to two-player gaming – meaning two users can experience the same VR pleasures together. The user would see content tailored to them, and the more you used it, the more it would learn about what you like.
However, founder Jason said as the product will be learning about your likes and dislikes, introducing a tool that could create ‘boundaries’ would be beneficial, so you’re not seeing the same thing over and over again that could “mentally harm” you.
Oli Lipski also contributed to this report.