While hunting out emerging future trends and disruptions associated with robots and robotics I ran across a fascinating convergence of virtual reality, artificial intelligence and robotics – avatar sex and teledildonics.
- Sinulate Entertainment offers products which enables people at two distant computers to manipulate electronic devices such as a vibrator at the other end. The emerging field is called ‘teledildonics’.
- XStream3D Multimedia offers a web game called "Virtually Jenna" in which the player has simulated sex with realistic cartoon of porn star Jenna Jameson.
- Visitors to RedLightCenter.com can adopt virtual characters called avatars and use them to live out their sexual fantasies, including having 'intercourse' with another avatar
Thoughts: At first glance this may all seem a little perverse, but this joining of social, physical and virtual worlds signals yet another play out of the merging of humanity and its own technology. Science fiction has well explored such 'social virtuality' ideas: for example in the movies Total Recall (1990) and The Lawn Mower Man (1992). Some questions arise - will the ability to move from relationship development via email, chat and dating services, to full virtual consummation be good or bad for us? Will it become the safer and even the preferred norm?
KEY WORDS: Avatar; Communications; Internet; Robots; Sexuality; Society; Virtual reality