Photo: Lora DiCarloCES, the annual conference that showcases cutting-edge technology in consumer tech, is known to be not only dominated by men, but largely addressed to them as well. This propensity was spectacular this week, after an impressive-sounding sex toy was canceled for its "immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or out of line with CTA's image." The sex toy in question comes from the mostly female-led sex-tech company Lora DiCarlo. Called the Osé, the product is an adaptive hands-free device, where "advanced micro-robotics" produces all "sensations of a human mouth, a tongue and a finger". Lora DiCarlo presented CES 'Sex Toy with an Innovation Award – and was awarded the CES 2019 Innovation Award in the Robotics and Drone category. The administrators of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the organization that runs CES, then revoke the company's award. The industry group initially said that the device, after being reviewed and evaluated by an independent panel, was somehow "unethical" or otherwise unacceptable. Then the group retreated as CTA President Gary Shapiro and Vice President Karen Chupka Lora DiCarlo sent a letter stating that Osé was out of the category "Robotics and Drone". Our product, developed in collaboration with one of the university's leading robotic laboratories (Oregon State University has ranked No. 4 robotics laboratory in the US), inspired the emergence of the OSU prototype development laboratory, Professor John Parmigiani, "the company wrote Team in a blog post detailing the incident. "Osé is the subject of eight registered patents and counts for robotics, biomimicry and engineering. We have a team of absolutely brilliant women and LGBTQI engineers (and a few wonderful men) working on all aspects of this product – including a mechanical engineering graduate with experience in robotics and AI and a mechanical design engineer involved in materials science specializing in materials science has background in chemistry. Osé clearly fits into the category of robotics and drones – and CTA's own experts agree. "The statements of the CTA commit wrong ideas of gender and gender. They are, to be honest, extremely prudish. For starters, a device designed to enhance a woman's sexual experience is hardly obscene. In addition, the device, like the Lora DiCarlo team described in detail above, is deeply rooted in robotics. Claiming that it's not just about losing someone is remarkably lame – and it promotes the stigma surrounding sex positivity. It's hard to be the belated apology "That does not fit the product category" than something that goes beyond Puritan ass-covers. And maybe, if the CTA really believes that such a device does not fit into one of its categories, which is worth it If they are honored for innovation, they should not eliminate Osé, but create a new category that is more inclusive. CES has a long history of sexism and gender prejudice – there were very sad robotic strippers, naked women selling mobile phones in the conference hall, consecutive years without female keynote speakers, standby babies (and the women they're crazy for) and No Code of Conduct, just to name a few – and at last year's conference, only about a fifth of the participants were women. The revocation of a prize created by and for women does not create the belief that the organization wishes that women feel welcome and celebrated for their accomplishments. And the wave effects are worrying: "At heart, these prejudices dampen innovation by blocking access to finance, contacts and consumers that could take brands and products to the next level," wrote the Lora DiCarlo team. "You never know how technology can be used. The future of health care could be in the patent for a sex toy. But if CES and CTA are so focused on keeping women and sex tech out, we'll never know. "[Motherboard]

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