Over the weekend a video clip was released on the BBC of a Cornwall-based artist, spending his lockdown time collecting plastic rubbish from his local beach. He had collected over 50 million pieces and his joy at doing so was evident. This is just one of many hundreds of positive stories featuring the lives of individuals and communities shared during the covid19 lockdown. Paradoxically what appears to be emerging from our time in a global quarantine is an awareness of nature and our environments and at the same time exposes the true cost of how the human race treats our planet and each other.
In Boris Johnson’s recent public address, his words resonated with a clear “carry on and get back to work” message. However, we question should we really be hurrying back to how life was before the coronavirus or actually using these unprecedented times to re-evaluate how we live and how we work and find a better way for both?
On home soil, with 20% of the UK workforce temporarily furloughed and another 45% remote working, school closures and the country essentially ‘shut down’ the undeniable ‘life pressures’ the modern day world has created have all but vanished. Many now find themselves with more time to appreciate time at home with their families and exercise in traffic-free streets. To rediscover nature in our surroundings and breathe in clearer air.
A number of employers and employees have realised, maybe for the first time, that remote and flexible working actually benefits both. That long distance commutes and business travel abroad take their toll on our free time and our planet. When faced with an inability to make these journeys, we have adapted to a new way of working, using remote technology and conferencing for the large part. There would be a strong case for investing in this type of infrastructure and implementing this into every business post-lockdown.
Maybe now is as good a time as any to ask ourselves to compare our lives 6 weeks ago to what they are now. What are we seeing? What positives can we take from this? How can we apply these to how we live and how we work going forward? Is there a better way? The good news is that being in lockdown has meant working families and both employers and employees have had the time to talk together which will lead to open discussions that will ultimately benefit all.
To be clear, the outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic won’t be positive for everybody. There will be many losses to life and to the business economy. But what it has done is provided us with the opportunity on a global scale to learn lessons and rewrite the rules of how we operate on a day to day basis both personally and professionally.
We can all create something great together if we take the time to stop and think about where our priorities lie.
Some of us at one time or another, may have had a new sex toy idea and we thought it could be the next big thing. There’s been a lot of talk in the industry recently that SexTech start ups are shifting away from the phallic shapes towards new and innovative products.
The journey between the initial idea and seeing it on the shelves can be a very rewarding experience. However the road to success is littered with hidden pitfalls. Many companies and inventors struggle, or even fail, to develop a new product without appropriate assistance.
First and foremost, our role at Sated Design is to assist businesses in developing a new or improving an existing product so it is ready for its intended market.
A typical project would include one or more of the following stages:
- Review – the idea may be good, but does it tick all the boxes to be a successful and commercially viable product? This is the first step along the road and allows you to decide whether it is worth continuing or not.
- Funding – Developing, protecting, manufacturing and distributing a product will require a substantial financial investment. How are the necessary funds going to be raised?
- Protecting – There is no point having a great product if a copycat competitor steals your market advantage. What type of intellectual property protection is most suitable?
- Developing the product – To take an idea from a rough sketch on the back of a paper napkin to a physical product rolling off the production line involves several stages. From the initial concept sketches, prototyping and testing, to producing data files ready for manufacturing, there are many elements to consider in development of a product.
- Selling the product – All the hard work getting the product developed and manufactured will be for nothing if distribution and marketing fails. How are you going to get a good return on your investment?
Even the most accomplished will require assistance with new sex toy ideas which is where Sated Design’s expertise is invaluable. We work closely with all our clients to ensure they have all the support they need throughout the product development process.
Who we are
Sated Design was founded in 2003. We are a focused company who want our clients to achieve business success with innovative products that address the key factors of performance, reliability, cost and aesthetics.
We have designed many products within the Adult industry and to date our products have won Best Male Product for ETO, Winner of XBIZ Best Male Pleasure Product, Winner of Erotixx Highest Potential Product as well as several nominations for other Erotica Awards.
A patent protecting the broad concept of “teledildonics” has recently expired, potentially paving the way for a wave of sex toys that can be controlled over the internet.
Teledildonics, also known as cyberdildonics, is a term to describe sex toys that can be plugged into a device, such as a computer, tablet or smartphone, and link to other sex toys and interactive applications over the internet, giving users the possibility to interact with sexual partners over long distances.
The patent, originally filed in 1998, includes descriptions of systems where stimulation devices are linked via transmitters to computers equipped with video cameras, capable of then connecting to and interacting with other such systems and pre-recorded video across the internet.
Many view this particular patent as having stifled development of this technology for several years, with the company that had owned the rights filing 10 lawsuits alleging infringement between 2015 and 2017, leading them to be labelled a “patent troll” and gaining notoriety in the industry. The expiration of the patent now potentially removes a large barrier to new development in this area.
However, despite cheers and applause from sex toy innovators, expiration of this single patent doesn’t necessarily mean a green light to a free-for-all for new teledildonics products. While on the surface it may look like a golden opportunity, other inventors will no doubt hold patents and intellectual property covering different areas of this technology, so even with one significant obstacle removed the wider legal minefield remains present. You are just a bit less likely to get sued.
As always, it’s important to continue to do your due diligence to ensure that your product doesn’t infringe anyone else’s intellectual property and land you and your business in hot water. Make use of the services of a patent attorney to help you discover the potential pitfalls and barriers to your product development early on in the process to avoid costly legal action and redesigns later on. It is important that you have a good understanding of the intellectual property landscape of your industry.
We as your product designers can then help you to come up with solutions that circumvent the rights held by your competitors and put valuable IP into your own hands.
How would you feel if details about your personal life and most intimate activities were being collected without you knowing about it? Well the BBC reported last week on a legal case brought against Canadian firm Standard Innovation, manufacturers of the We-Vibe range of sex toys, who were accused of tracking data generated by thousands of their customers using We-Vibe products.
An app called We-Connect used with the We-Vibe vibrator relayed data on things like temperature, settings and usage back to the company. Feeling that their privacy had been violated, customers of Standard Innovation filed a class-action lawsuit against them in September 2016, resulting in Standard Innovation agreeing to compensate US customers and updating its privacy notice and app security.
The BBC report also detailed how the flaw with the app came to light, reporting on a pair of hackers who had demonstrated at a US hacking convention how the data could be sent from the device to the company. They also showed how malicious third parties could not only intercept data from the device, but more worryingly could possibly take control of the vibrator itself, in their words, committing “potentially sexual assault”.
The We-Vibe is an example of the ever-growing ‘Internet of Things – physical products and devices embedded with electronic components enabling them to connect to the internet. While the Internet of Things has already been around for a few years now, teething trouble like Standard Innovation’s story show that it remains very much in its infancy and there is still a lot work needed to bring it to maturity.
Reports such as this one from The Guardian also highlight the growing risk of criminals or terrorists hijacking internet-enabled devices to launch cyber-attacks, by exploiting deficiencies in, or lack of, in-built malware protection. One common type of attack is called a ‘distributed denial-of-service’ (DDoS) attack and involves a flood of data requests being sent to a website from a network of compromised devices, essentially overwhelming it and bringing it down. With an influx of new connected devices now coming online, the potential for such attacks is expected to significantly increase.
There are now several tasks ahead for manufacturers as a whole. One is to take heed of Standard Innovation’s cautionary tale and recognise that while the Internet of Things is a brave new world of technological wonder and commercial possibility, dangers and pitfalls exist that can have dire consequences, not only for unwary businesses but for the wider global community. The second is to determine exactly what these devices should be doing and agree a standard or best practise. Until such standards are in place Sated Design would urge all manufacturers to include cyber security as part of their product risk assessment reviews.