Zing Tsjeng | Contributing Writer | Thursday, 8 January 2015

Whoop! The World’s First Artificially Intelligent Vibrator Is Here, And Apparently It's Awesome

The Debrief: Forget your nineties-inspired Rampant Rabbit - is this the new future of sex toys?

When I was 16, I bestowed upon my best friend her first vibrator: a bullet-shaped contraption that sounded like a tractor revving up and looked like it came from a Tamagotchi booster kit. I thought I was being sooo Carrie about the whole thing. ‘Look at us,’ I told her, ‘young, independent women liberated through technology! Who needs a man?!’ (OK, fine, I probably said something along the lines of ‘Hahahaha don’t let your mum find this’.)

But sex toys haven’t progressed much since my SATC-inspired gift. Your Rampant Rabbit might have better noise control, but its fundamental mode of operations hasn’t altered one bit. You still need to fiddle around with buttons, batteries and disguising it from your housemate. Which is why one Silicon Valley start-up is causing a lot of excitement with its new sex toy, Hum.

Billed as the world’s first artificially intelligent vibrator, Hum is the work of two physicists, Aaron Hammack and Jonathan Driscoll, and self-professed biohacker and ‘starving entrepreneur’, Sunny Allen. Its teaser website shows a sleek, white bowling pin-shaped device that looks more like something from an Apple-branded game of tenpins than a regular sex toy. Its tagline reads: ‘It feels you move and hums you back.’

So just how intelligent is Hum? According to Sunny, there’s nothing else like it. The AI-enabled toy is equipped with patented sensors that respond to your internal contractions and movement – and revs up and down accordingly. Unlike conventional vibrators which require you to manually key through different levels and speeds, Hum just does the work for you. ‘As you squeeze harder on Hum, the motors increase in intensity,’ Sunny explains. ‘And if there are rhythmic squeezes, the motors also switch from back to front, matching your rhythm. As the vaginal walls contract around it, it thrusts exactly in rhythm with the contractions.’ ’At the height of the squeeze, the vibration responds most strongly. Then it lets off a little bit as the vaginal pressure lets off, and it just keeps up with you.’

There are other smart sex toys out there; wifi-enabled sex toys like LovePalz and Vibease allow people to control their lovers’ vibrators from afar. But Hum doesn’t require any apps, Bluetooth or a willing partner at the other end – you just turn it on and lie back. Jonathan, a physicist who has previously worked in medical technology, was inspired to create Hum after being disappointed while browsing sex toys with his girlfriend. Fellow physicist Aaron came on board shortly after, with Sunny joining the team earlier this year as a coder and head of marketing. The first time she tested a working prototype, she emailed her two co-creators back with the words: ‘Congratulations, boys, you have just invented a new kind of sex.’

‘It’s like it dances with you,’ she explains. ‘I don’t think there’s anything else interactive like that on the market. There are other toys with pressure sensors, but ours is invented by a quantum physicists for the exact needs of this vibrator. This is not something you can get out of a tech catalogue.’ Right now, Hum is still in its early stages – there are only a few prototypes in the world, and each new one must be painstakingly made by hand. ‘But I have women knocking down my doors asking when it’s ready and when they can get theirs,’ Allen laughs. Especially exciting for some female geeks? ‘It’s hackable, it’s reprogrammable,’ she explains. ‘If you have some coding knowledge and you decide you want it to respond differently, you can code that in yourself.’

Hum’s Indiegogo campaign has already raised almost $30,000 of its $50,000 crowd funding goal, and Allen hopes to have the first commercially available products ready by March 2015 (there’s a $150 special offer, but they hope to eventually retail over $200.) It’s got a lot of hype to live up to, but Sunny is confident that Hum will impress. ‘It’s not just clickbait to say it’s AI or to say it’s the smartest sex toy there is,’ she says. ‘The robots are coming; robot sex is going to be a part of that. And somehow I got lucky enough to be right here at the beginning point.’

Liked this? You might also be interested in: 

The Weirdest Sex Toys Ever That You Can't Unsee

A Brief History Of The World In Sex Toys

The Etiquette Of Sex Toy Gifting 

Follow Zing on Twitter @misszing

Tags: Sex, Sex O\'Clock, Sex And Tech