CES Returned Award To Sex Toy Creator After Revoking It In January
Indira Datta - May 15, 2019, 2:22 pm IST
This move has caused a debate about the adoption of sexual technology and women in this industry.
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The group behind Consumer Electronics Show is returning an award to a women's sex toy firm that it previously revoked. This has caused a debate about the adoption of sexual technology and women in this industry. However, the organizer of the show has not yet announced whether sex toys will be presented and won awards in the future.
Before CES 2019 in January, a creative prize of robotics and drones category was given to Lora DiCarlo with the invention of Osé Robotic Massager. After that, the program operator withdrew the award and declared that sex toys are not allowed to participate. Moreover, Lora DiCarlo couldn't exhibit its products at the show either.
However, the Consumer Technology Association is returning the Innovation Award for Lora DiCarlo. The show operator said they did not handle this award well, resulting in some "important conversations" around the policies of the show regarding sex tech.
Although the prize is still being returned to Lora DiCarlo, it is unclear whether Lora DiCarlo will be able to exhibit at the next show. CTA has not clarified the changes it will make so that the show will be more inclusive in the future. There will be changes, but CTA says it will not share any information until months ahead of the 2020 CES.
Jean Foster, marketing director at CTA, said that innovations in their policy would help resolve current conflicts around sex tech. Some sexual technologies have appeared in the show, but some like the Osé massager have been banned without an apparent reason. Foster said they found some consistency in their policies and practices that need reviewing and fixing. Foster refused to detail future changes.
According to a source familiar with the matter, next year's show may classify sex gadgets into the health and wellness section. But there is still no certainty because the current CES Innovation Awards does not yet have a health category.
Lora DiCarlo is very grateful to CTA for reconsidering and recognizing its invention, according to the CEO, Lora Haddock. Meaningful changes are essential after what happened in January, added she. Haddock also said they will always try to contribute significant inventions to CES and everyone.
What CTA did in January was not okay due to the show's perpetual problems with the inclusion of females. The conference took a while to stop hiring "booth babes," and after a great deal of criticism, it began adding women to keynote speakers in recent years.
Lora DiCarlo was founded and run by entirely female. The company participated and was removed from the exhibition in the same year that CTA launched a $10 million investment fund for people of color, women, and other underrepresented startups and entrepreneurs. This fund aims to encourage them to have more opportunities to present and promote their invention.
The Osé is expected to hit the market this fall.