Are Smart Vibrators Safe? You Might Be Sharing More Than You Would Like
The world of technology is constantly changing. I know I sound like a grandma but there is always a new in phone or app that will make your life 100 times better, or food delivery service that will revolutionise your hangovers. And our bedrooms are not exempt from this innovation. Vibrators and dildos have come a long way from their humble beginnings, with technology now embedded in the devices. But are smart vibrators safe? This evolution in sex toys is pretty amazing and you are going to want to check them out. However, there also may be some pretty crucial glitches leading you to share more about your alone time than you might want to.
As Marie Claire reported, sex toys have been around since 28,000 B.C., but since then things have moved on considerably. The smart vibrator, meaning a technologically connected one, hasn't been around for quite as long, but some of the first to notice the potential of the device did so accidentally.
As Wired reports, Kyle Machulis noticed that the Trance Vibrator, a small vibrating box created to intensify the experiences of gamers whilst they were playing the Playstation 2, was being used for more intimate things. On life simulation websites, like Second Life, either alone or with a partner, people had found other uses for the Trance Vibrator and it sparked an idea. Speaking about the technological development, he told the magazine “I hooked it up to Second Life so that people could use Second Life as a sex interface, since they could be or do whatever they could dream up and build in the game."
Whilst you can now buy smart vibrators in a range of different colours, sizes, and levels of sophistication, it is reported by ZDNet that the technology behind them is quite familiar to that we use in other areas of our life. Connecting the vibrator to a device via Bluetooth, it can then be controlled remotely. Cool, right? However, this also creates personal data on the goings on in your intimate moments.
If secure, the smart vibrators are perfectly safe, but if hackers access users' accounts, they will be able to go through the data collected and even activate and control the vibrator remotely, the website reports. A researcher who goes by the pseudonym RenderMan has started the project, The Internet Of Dongs, to raise awareness about security issues with sex toys. He told ZDNet, "being able to hijack a toy remotely and have a stranger controlling it can be as emotionally horrifying as a physical assault. Do users of these legal and plentiful products not deserve the same privacy and security as we are demanding of all our other gadgets?"
However, all is not lost in this sex toy development. Whilst the risk of someone hacking into your device and controlling it from afar is really scary, there are things you can do to prevent that from happening. Wired reported that using a secured network, such as Tor will disguise your data, and may it harder for anyone to activate your vibrator without you wanting them to.
I love that we live in a time where the internet is capable of so many things and we have a technological gadget for pretty much anything. Smart vibrators are a seriously cool development in the world of sex toys and I have no doubt they will continue to be developed and made safer. However, the idea that a stranger anywhere in the world could activate your sex toy whilst it is tucked away in your top draw or just as you are about to use strikes me as dangerous and terrifies me. Whilst smart vibrators are safe, I may wait for a more secure upgrade.
An earlier version of this article mischaracterised Kyle Machulis' role in the creation of the smart vibrator. It has now been updated.