Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Sex toy start-up with Oregon State U roots gets its award back

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: May 15th, 2019

The startup behind a high-tech sex toy has gotten its Innovation Award back from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), having previously been stripped of the award following a CTA gadget show.

In a statement, CTA says it reinstated Lora DiCarlo’s 2019 Innovation Award in the robotics and drone category for its hands-free Osé vibrator for women, and that it is committed to making the gadget show more welcoming and inclusive.

The product, developed with help from Oregon State University engineers, is a hands-free vibrator device for women called Osé.

Although an independent panel of judges had originally chosen the device for the award, CTA then rescinded it, claiming that the show prohibits products that are “immoral, obscene, indecent, or profane.”

Jean Foster, senior vice president of marketing and communications at CTA, comments, “CTA did not handle this properly. This prompted some important conversations internally and with external advisors, and we look forward to taking these learnings to continue to improve the show.”

Lora Haddock, creator of the Osé vibrator, had criticized the ban, alleging gender bias. “We appreciate this gesture from the CTA, which has taken an important step in the right direction to remove the stigma and embarrassment around female sexuality,” says Haddock. “This is a win for our engineering team, who deserve recognition for the robotic technology they developed in the making of Osé.”

Source: The Bulletin

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