HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- Eric White believes the future of sex technology lies in a 16" red-and-black cylindrical device that he sells for $439.69 from his office in rural Pennsylvania.
White's device is aimed at men and, to put it delicately, is designed to provide pleasure through an ingenious combination of a vacuum pump, a back-and-forth motor, and a stimulator at the business end that he says "adds a little extra zing."
Similar devices have been around for years -- there's the perennial gag of an inflatable sheep, of course, and the non-programmable Venus 2000 from Sybian.com sells for $815. What makes White's contraption different is that it's arguably the most technologically advanced to date.
That's because his so-called Virtual Sex Machine comes with Windows software that controls the VSM through the PC's parallel data port. It can simulate different sorts of intimate activities by, as White puts it, "varying the vacuum." (In truth it's more configurable than that, but good taste forbids us from elaborating.)
What that means is that it's possible to craft an adult video with synchronized instructions sent through the data port to the VSM. As the action on the screen progresses, the electronic manipulations of the VSM's silicone-like interior varies as well.
White doesn't want to be in the business of creating adult videos, though. He showed up at the Internext conference here organized by adult trade publisher AVN Media Network to try to persuade the companies that own or produce videos to insert VSM data tracks. (The resulting disc sells for $40, a hefty premium over traditional adult DVDs.)
He has four porn stars signed up so far for custom discs -- kind of a virtual woman-at-your-command -- including a cheerleader-turned-amateur actress who runs the sammy4u.com Web site. Dozens more compilation discs with data tracks are available through White's vrinnovations.com site.
"It adds another level of marketing ability to (an adult movie) star," White said. "When you're done with her, you put it back on the shelf and close the door. You don't have to take her out to dinner."
Next steps include a sensor-equipped version of the VSM marketed at women (or men, for that matter) who operate pay-per-minute Web cams at sites like cams.com and camz.com. The idea is that their customers will pay extra for the 'cammer to manipulate the remote VSM in certain, ah, specific ways that will be detected by the local Windows software, communicated over the Internet, and output to the male-oriented VSM connected to the remote customer.
After that, of course, might come VSMs with medical applications, VSMs designed for couples in long distance relationships, VSMs with a software interface that allows hacking, and so on, although expansion plans may have to wait until Pennsylvania authorities stop harassing White over building permits. He had the bad fortune to place his factory in Amish country, which apparently is less than happy about being a birthplace of the world's teledildonics movement.
For his part, White views himself as a kind of Thomas Edison of the industry: "I want to be the guy who invented virtual sex."