Several top roboticists, materials engineers, and SFX modelmakers are hired away to work for a secretive startup based in Las Vegas, and disappear from all professional correspondence.
The startup, Pygmalion Systems, Inc., ends speculation by introducing its first product: the Supermod Doll. This stunningly beautiful, sexbot features three self-lubricating, removable-core orifices, and can autonomously navigate most indoor environments. It understands over 60 voice commands, and performs over 20 sex acts and positions. An internal battery heats and powers the bot for up to 45 minutes in between charges. Retail price: $5000.
Sony acknowledges the existence of its Comfort Robotics program, which has been working on sexbots for six years. The company announces that it expects to bring its first sexbots to market by 2011.
Following the Supermod Doll’s success, Pygmalion introduces Supermod Series II, a line of sexbots with motion-triggered vocalization – moans, screams, and dirty talk. The bot also has “Inheat Inside,” a new behavior engine designed by a leading primate biologist, which makes the bots’ movements, expressions, and iris dilations even more powerfully seductive. Demand for the bots grows, but their high price continues to limit sales.
Later in the year, Pygmalion introduces the Supermod Pornstar line, in a cross-marketing and licensing partnership with adult video producer Digital Playground. The new line of sexbots are realistic, laser-scanned replicas of Jesse Jane and other leading porn actresses. Tagline: “You’ve watched me; now fuck me.”
A reclusive bot-owner commits “double-suicide” at his home in Los Angeles, hacking his bot to pieces with an axe, then shooting himself in the heart. The story makes national headlines and draws attention to the high suicide rate among sexbot users.
Botboy , a successful chain of Japanese doll clubs, opens 15 branches in the U.S. and Canada. The company also launches Botboy magazine, a monthly celebration of sexbots and the botboy lifestyle that features lavish erotic photography, plus fantasy fiction, sexbot advice and maintenance tips, and the latest in sexbot technology. The magazine is a hit, and proves to be a popular “gateway” for non bot-users.
The 1st annual International Interdisciplinary Conference on Sexbots and Social Upheaval takes place in Rome, Italy.
The Estate of Britney Spears licenses the production of Supermod Britney2000, the first sexbot featuring the likeness of a mainstream (and deceased) celebrity. The bot recreates Ms. Spears as she appeared and moved in the year 2000. To produce the bot, modelers analyzed hundreds of archival photographs and video clips of the young starlet, creating the most accurate animated 3D replica of a real human being ever derived from 2D sources.
Pygmalion launches Party Babe 1, the first autonomous sexbot designed to support rental operations, thanks to an RFID credit card reader (in the back of the neck), onboard transaction processing, wireless connectivity, and ruggedized core modules. Invalid credit cards render the bot motionless temporarily.
Snubbing adult products stores, Pyg develops its own dedicated, multilevel direct-distribution network for Party Babe, with regional distribution partners demonstrating the PB-1 in private homes. Marketing aims high, targeting young, professional, technology-oriented men with or without any prostitute experience. The messaging emphasizes safety and extols the dolls’ advantages for “bachelor parties and other special occasions.”
The marketing strategy works. Party Babe brings robot sex into the mainstream, “crossing the chasm” from wealthy sex collectors to ordinary young men everywhere. Distribution partners maintain ever-longer waiting lists, manufacturing production can’t keep up with demand, and the phrase, “It’s for my friend’s bachelor party” becomes a universal joke.
Sony Comfort Robotics enters the market with a broad line of sexbots which are lower priced than Pygmalion’s but less technologically sophisticated. Most botboy connoisseurs also consider them more physically beautiful, although the topic is frequently debated. Sony also introduces the industry’s first male sexbot, Kake.
Pyg and JCDecaux collaborate to introduce City Babe, a fully ruggedized version of Party Babe that’s designed to work as a streetwalker. The CB-1 cruises autonomously within 1/4 mile of its “home base,” usually a hotel room in a laissez-faire urban neighborhood, where it turns tricks, recharges, and replaces its cores between daily cleaning-and-maintenance visits by a route operator. Mini surveillance cameras embedded around the bot’s perimeter document vandalism and maintain security. Revenues for both companies increase, as the sexbots prove to be nonstop money-harvesting machines.
A boycott of Sony products by outraged consumers, mostly in the US, causes Sony to divest itself of its Comfort Robotics division. With a surge of outside investment, Comfort Robotics International is established as an independent company
An employee of Pygmalion’s Surveillance Division leaks a video of a U.S. congressman using a City Babe. The congressman resigns, and public objections to the bot’s surveillance capabilities flare up.
The “Black Box” law passes, enacting severe criminal penalties for anyone who distributes video recordings taken by the onboard security equipment of “vending machines, paid comfort facilities, and any other automatic commercial devices.” The information can however be demanded by law enforcement for criminal investigations.
Pygmalion enhances its City Babe line with TruFeeling, an automatic preferences learning technology that tailors itself to repeat customers by tracking their motions, heartbeat, and other responses. The system, designed to increase revenue by turning tricks faster, successfully increases the average daily customer turnover rate (CTR) from 58 to nearly 75. Marketing tagline: “TruFeeling: It knows what you like.”
The Japanese government waives all income taxes for native-born couples who marry and bear children. This is an attempt to combat the very low birthrate that has resulted from a generation of o-taku (men who stay at home, only interact with sexbots, videogames, and other technology, and never marry), as well as the large numbers of women leaving the country seeking social freedoms.
When You Can’t Compete With A Machine, by nationally-syndicated relationship advice columnist Monica Lewinsky-Mayer, tops the New York Times bestseller list for the 100th week running, in the “Advice, How-To, and Miscellaneous” category.
Pyg introduces PrivateFeeling for its privately-owned bots. This takes TruFeeling tech in a new direction by personalizing bot behavior for maximum orgasm intensity, rather than minimum completion time. Users can set sessions of different target durations up to one hour, and the bot will read their responses and react and adjust its behavior accordingly.
The C.O.Y.O.T.E. Continuing Education Institute opens in Las Vegas, offering new-career courses to sex workers who are having trouble competing with sexbots. Courses focus on intuitive and verbal jobs that bots can’t perform, including B&D, role-playing, sex therapy, psychotherapy, and massage. Other courses promote and give instructions for “Electric Three-Ways,” in which a sexbot and a human prostitute service a john simultaneously.
Neighborhood legal battles over City Babe deployments rage in numerous cities. Most eventually adopt the so-called “Miami Solution” - bots programmed to dispense a heavy tax to the city may walk through public areas in districts zoned for adult retail, but they must be on private property while accepting any transactions. In practice, this usually means a bar or hotel that takes a cut of the proceeds, per arrangements with the distributor.
Increasing incidences of “bot bashings,” masked vandals destroying streetwalker sexbots, typically with baseball bats or axes, reduces sexbot deployment to areas with strong surveillance.
Pyg adds Private Key feature to PrivateFeeling bots. An RFID-based key that “unlocks” preferences when waved behind the bot’s neck. Without the key, the bot operates in generic-response mode. The new line is marketed using a campaign that, for the first time, targets women. Photo: Confident wife holds PrivateFeeling key on a keychain. Tagline: “Now, only you can hold the key to his desire.”
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court rules for the defendant in Easy vs. Springfield Board of Education, affirming the right of anyone to publicly walk in the controversial robotic manner that’s gaining popularity among some teenage girls. In the dissenting opinion, Justice Scalia writes, “We have come to a time when this unnaturally affected and clearly recognizable gait can only be interpreted as an open invitation to sex, which makes walking in this manner an obscene expression with no legal place in a publically-funded educational institution. The gravity of this obscenity is doubled when the expression comes from a young woman who has not yet reached the statutory age of consent.”
India-based startup Maidensoft takes on Pyg and C.R.I. with its own line of sexbots, carving a new niche in the category with their “hyper-real” models, including the bright-red Hottie, with a skin temperature of 105° F., the grey-blue Coldie, who’s cooled internally to a clammy 62°, the eight-armed Dirty Shiva, the no-armed Venus, and the limbless Helena.
Mexico-based startup Cashwad enters the field with inexpensive, technology-knockoff sexbots featuring the (unlicensed) likenesses of Marilyn Monroe and other stars, along with pre-pubescent boys and pubescent girls.
Horny boy wakes up and realizes that this whole sexbot thing was all just a crazy dream, and is disappointed that it didn’t last longer and resolve itself with a more satisfactory ending.
This story was handed out (but not officially presented) in a slightly different form at the Arse Electronica conference in San Francisco, October 2007.
Paul Spinrad is a writer and editor who first gained experience sexualizing consumer technology while writing the “Fetish: Technolust” section for Wired.
Comments welcome: pspinrad at panix dot com
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