There are some great sex aids on the market. But does your vibrator allow you to pleasure your partner over Skype while they sit on the other end doing absolutely no work at all?
Didn't think so.
With the Elaico, a device developed by a German-American designer Fabio Himmelstoss, it all becomes possible. It works like this. The woman gets the "vybby"--a hooky silicone thing. The man gets the "phlux"--again, just look at the picture. Then, each partner gets a mouse with two little buttons--one for bursts of firm pressure, the other for more gentle vibration (presumably, same-sex partners could get two vybbys or two phluxes).
To get technical, the Elaico is a teledildonic--a sex device controlled by computer. It's an idea that has been around for at least a decade--a sci-fi lovers dream fulfilled of a time where physical intimacy can be achieved through just a screen. Though we've seen a bunch of attempts to make it work, it's never caught on. Will this project finally break through? It's not your normal squalid bit of rubber with wires hanging off it. The Elaico is meant to be sleek and minimal, something that would look good on your shelf.
"We wanted it to be really simple. We didn't want it to look really high-tech," Himmelstoss says. "There are some other products [like this], but they always make them so complicated. You have a remote and you turn this wheel and press three buttons. It's hard work. We just wanted to make it easy, so you can enjoy it. You're not making this move and this move, like it's Playstation."
Simplicity isn't the Elaico's only unique feature. The toys are also designed for hands-free play if people want it. The vybby, for instance, will sit in place while the woman does other things. Likewise, the phlux. "We don't want to reinvent the sex toy," says Himmelstoss, "only the way you use it."
The Elaico isn't quite ready for the boudoir. Himmeltoss has some prototypes, the Skype and Bluetooth connections work perfectly. But he still needs money to get the product to market. You can help with his Indiegogo campaign here.
In a world where it's increasingly easy to maintain long-distance relationships over the computer, maybe teledildonics finally makes sense in some twisted way. "Our whole society is spending less time in one place, for work or whatever reasons," Himmelstoss says. "This is just a good way to improve the Internet a little bit."