Gadgets

‘Smart vibrator’ maker hopes to arouse investor interest on Indiegogo

Image Credit: Vibease

Vibease is bringing wearable technology into women’s underwear.

Today the company launched a $15,000 Indiegogo campaign as well as a new, more fantasy-driven focus.

The company makes a squishy, Bluetooth-enabled pink “smart vibrator” that you control through a mobile app. The app contains a “marketplace for erotica.” Women browse for erotica that turns them on, and Vibease will vibrate accordingly. It uses Bluetooth to create a “hands-free experience,” so your hands are available for, well, you know.

While I am skeptical that a male entrepreneur is in tune with my (or any woman’s) sexual needs, the company said it has spent two years conducting research and interviews with women to refine the product.

“Sex is part of basic human needs,” founder Dema Tio said at the HAXLR8R demo day. “We love sex so much because of orgasms. But more than half of women don’t have orgasms; single women need orgasms, too. We create an immersive experience for women. Vibease vibrates according to your fantasies.”

Tio identified four elements of the female orgasm — audio, emotion, fantasy, and clitoral stimulation. The goal of Vibease is to give women “the best orgasm experience ever” by addressing each of these elements. The company’s first product was intended for couples who were apart — your partner could control the vibrator from their smartphone, switching between five levels of power and four vibration patterns. Vibease has since pivoted to focus more on stimulating the female imagination (and other places). The app has a fantasy library as well as the capability to create customized fantasies. The long-distance remote control feature remains.

“Imagine a user listens to a fantasy like Fifty Shades of Grey and the vibrator vibrates in sync with the fantasy,” Tio said. “When the story says, ‘I’m touching you softly,’ it vibrates softly. And when the story says ‘I’m touching you hard’, it vibrates hard. It makes fantasy come to life.”

Singapore-based Vibease has, unsurprisingly, had a tough time being taken seriously. People are prone to giggling when an entrepreneur begins discussing the female orgasm, and investors are hesitant to be associated with a product that deals with — gasp — sex (despite the fact that erotica makes up a significant portion of the Internet). But vibrators are a big market. Fifty percent of Americans use vibrators, and condom-maker Trojan estimates that the market for vibrators in the U.S. alone is $1 billion. Many people feel more comfortable buying sex toys online rather than going into a sex store, and vibrators are less taboo than they used to be. Mainstream retailers like Duane Reade and Walgreens are even selling them now.

Giggles aside, Vibease is gaining some traction. The company graduated from hardware accelerator program HAXLR8R earlier this year. The 15-week program based in Shenzhen, China, helps entrepreneurs with innovative hardware ideas turn them into commercial realities. It provides mentorship, seed funding, and support for manufacturing, supply chain management, and distribution.

Now Vibease is working with one of the biggest sex toy manufacturers in China and has a team of hardware advisers through its participation in HAXLR8R. The company has added Hermione Way (of Bravo’s Start-Ups: Silicon Valley notoriety) as a cofounder and spokesperson, along with Angela Mahon and Maryrose Simpson.

The Vibease vibrator is just 3.1 inches long, costs $79, and is available on Android and iPhone. The battery lasts up to three hours.

Vibease is based in Singapore and San Francisco.


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