Lift13, Innovation Drivers XXX: Heather Kelley [en]

Here are my live notes of the Lift Conference session “Innovation Drivers: XXX”. Keep an eye open for mistakes, inaccuracies, and other flakiness due to live-blogging.
Heather Kelley: Designing the female orgasm

Game designer since 15 years ago. Game challenge in 2006, topic “sex”. What could she come up with for a game on that topic that she could talk about on stage?

Cute little bunny that you can tickle, whisper to, scratch his tail… On the upper screen you would see the bunny fly through the air, up to its “happy place” if you do it enough. (Nintendo DS)

Another challenge. Don’t fall off the top bunk! With Erin Robinson, game called “our first times”. (Wii). Note: these are game designs, weren’t realized.

2010, idea for a real product: OhMiBod.

Vibrator scene in Sex and the City, season 1, episode 9. Until then, great segmentation in the vibrator market: cheap and badly designed, cheesy, loud, low-quality materials, bad controls. Then the feminist sex-positive sex shops showed up. Much nicer environment, good lighting, staff have tried the toys and know what they’re selling, good design, care with materials… On the inside, same technology pretty much: eccentric rotating mass.

24-carat gold-plated vibrator, 12K € with sucky controls (up and down for speed, and the left-right to cycle through patterns that you get lost in — who hasn’t been there?).

Lelo Tiani, design award. Demo. Separate controller with an accelerometer in it. You basically can shake the controller to change the vibration speed.

Another demo. Musical vibe by OhMiBod. iPad required here 😉 Vibrator picking up the music and tuning to it. App as touchscreen controller for the vibrator (you can use that instead of a song). You can use two touch points, save to favorites, etc.

Another one: sonar kind of controller. Don’t have to touch it, just approach it.

All these demos are commercially made and available. Also hacking (the last demo). You can get all the info online and make it at home.


– Arse Elektronika in SF (every year) (plans for the sonar controller) hacker community.

No better reason for more women to get into engineering!