Although the headline to the Daily Star article is a bit alarmist, it’s more than intelligent than you might expect and gives a nice little overview of the history of teledildonics. The warning that hackers could remotely take control of teledildonic sex toys to ‘assault’ the users of them, comes from a supposed IT security expert. Of course, it is technically possible that haptic dildos, vibrators, and masturbators could be hacked. Whether this would constitute assault is another matter. There is always an off button, after all, or if the power switch was somehow hacked as well, then you just drop it.
Perhaps the toys could be hacked unknowingly? If a man using his haptic blowjob job toy, or a woman using a haptic vibrator, has what he thinks is a random pattern of sucking motions hacked and turned into something non-random by a remote hacker, are they really being assaulted? As the security expert suggests, this could be more plausible if the hacker is watching via webcam and taking direct sexual pleasure, but it still seems like something that is going to become a real issue for many years yet, just like the scare stories regarding ‘sex robots can kill’ and the like.
Couples seeking to spice up their love lives using the new generation of teledildonic devices could be targeted by hackers, according to a demonstration by an internet security expert.
Vibrators and other sex toys – some featuring cameras – can easily by hijacked by unscrupulous experts, bringing an uninvited third party into an adventurous couple’s virtual bedroom.
The idea of connecting sex toys over the internet isn’t new – the idea was first seriously floated on August 17, 1998, when Warren J. Sandvick, Jim W. Hughes, and David Alan Atkinson patented the concept.
Before that, David Rothchild’s 1993 essay High-Tech Sex predicted the basic idea and tech pioneer Ted Nelson actually invented the word teledildonics back in 1975.
It’s only since the 1998 patent expired – in August 2018 – that the teledildonics gold rush has really got rolling, with companies such as Kiroo and Mystery Vibe rushing to the market with internet-connected toys.
But where you have a gold rush, you also have a wild west – and there have already been cases of hackers invading teledildonic networks.
Italian infosec researcher Giovanni Mellini demonstrated in 2017 how a Bluetooth-enabled butt plug could be easily co-opted by hackers to allow unauthorised access.
The security expert does have a rather thoughtful reply to those who would argue that those using haptic sex toys over the internet – especially if they are linked to public webcam shows – are ‘asking for trouble’.
He dismissed the idea that someone who was wearing a teledildonic device in a public place is essentially ‘asking for trouble,’ and offered this analogy to underline his point: “If I’m entering a boxing match … I’m consenting, obviously, to the contest with my opponent. If he hits me, I can’t be yelling, ‘Oh, he assaulted me, he punched me!’ because we’re consenting to punching each other.
“But if his corner man, his manager, comes out and clocks me in the head during the match, they can’t argue, ‘You consented to a boxing match, so anybody gets to beat up on you.’” Similarly, if you consent to someone using a sex toy on you, that’s not an invitation for any passerby to join in.