KIIROO CEO Toon Timmermans on Teledildonics, Patents and the Onyx
Will the KIIROO Onyx deliver on promises of online intimacy?
While teledildonics has spent years inching its way toward the mainstream, remote sex is still unable to truly capture the public’s imagination. Patent issues have been blamed for stalling the industry’s development. And promising startups can be ground into dust by legal action before they have a chance to create.
However, an exciting new partnership announced last month may soon shake up the field of teledildonics: two of the biggest players in the game have joined forces, and could be on the verge of becoming the new power couple of remote sex.
They’ve come together to produce the KIIROO Onyx, described in the press release as the “first fully interactive” personal sex device.
Working on the latest in haptics and telepresence technology, KIIROO has been striving to deliver truly immersive virtual sex. With this new collaboration it now also has access to Fleshlight’s massive pre-existing fan base and international experience.
But what exactly makes the Onyx fully interactive?
Speaking to us about the announcement, KIIROO co-founder CEO Toon Timmermans argued that nothing else on the market can offer the same sense of immersion.
“It doesn’t simulate real sex, and what I mean by that is getting that up and down movement without doing it yourself,” Timmermans said about other companies’ products.
“So the Onyx, the interesting thing is that we developed the technology to simulate that up and down movement.”
According to Timmermans, the Onyx is fully interactive as it can both send and receive signals from other KIIROO devices.
“That makes it really interactive, like real sex, because, like real sex, one of the two is controlling the movement,” Timmermans added.
KIIROO has also incorporated Fleshlight’s state of the art materials, including its patented SuperSkin Sleeve. Easy to replace and available in a variety of sizes and styles, KIIROO boasts that Fleshlight’s sleeve will ensure the Onyx delivers a more realistic sexual experience for its users.
“The great thing is we combined the best material out there with the best interactive experience. So in our opinion that’s the best combination you can have,” Timmermans told Future of Sex.
While female-oriented devices have always traditionally dominated the conversation in the adult industry, companies like Fleshlight are starting to change that. With 36,000 users currently registered in the Fleshlight forums, KIIROO is gearing up for a rapid expansion of its customer base.
This may seem like an unstoppable pairing, but it’s worth remembering the now defunct developers who have fallen victim to the broad scope of teledildonic patents. Earlier this year RealTouch [NSFW] was forced to cease production due to licensing disputes and escalating manufacturing costs. Its demise is a potent reminder of the fact that legal action can often ring the death knell for a company in its infancy.
But KIIROO has worked out another noteworthy deal. Vstroker [NSFW], which is owned by American company NextGen Interactive LLC, holds the rights to the major patent governing the use of teledildonic devices in the United States. Timmermans has confirmed KIIROO has recently finalized negotiations, after putting in significant time and energy, to secure a deal with the company to allow for the Onyx’s sale stateside.
Although KIIROO is working with cutting edge technology, the company seems aware of the difficulties in attaining momentum in a growing industry. These new partnerships seem particularly geared to compensate for the company’s pre-existing weaknesses.
The agreement with Vstroker includes more than just licensing, with KIIROO also gaining access to a library of teledildonic-enabled content. Timmermans explained that, “what Vstroker is going to do in the US is they’re going to produce KIIROO compatible content, and so now they’re also shooting films specifically made for KIIROO.”
Meanwhile, Fleshlight is contributing its already massive logistical reach and entrenched commercial delivery structure. With a sizeable portion of the market already locked up, a speciality device such as the KIIROO Onyx might otherwise struggle to build its audience.
This increased ease of access, along with the Vstroker content already available on launch, could prove to be a magic bullet solution for teledildonics.
These agreements haven’t gone unnoticed by the industry either. In November, KIIROO received a nomination for the prestigious XBIZ New Pleasure Products Company of the Year Award.
While teledildonics has largely remained stalled on the sexual periphery, many still see remote sex as the future of the adult industry. And that includes the developers at Fleshlight. Attempts to enter the field were already underway before KIIROO approached the company eyeing a partnership.
“They did have some ideas for it, but they never developed it, and then we had meetings with them and they were so enthusiastic that we just decided to join forces,” Timmermans said.
“The market is ready for the next step, and they saw that we are so far in developing that they see big potential.”
Although closures and legal disputes have previously dogged the industry, strategic alliances could make this a thing of the past. Teledildonics may finally be ready to reach the mass audience it’s been working toward for decades.
Do you think 2015 will be the year that teledildonics breaches the mainstream?
Images source: KIIROO