Launching a new and unique product is far from easy, especially if the producer doesn’t have all that much experience in the market. Still, Vivian Technology, the company of Istvan Keszei, went and grabbed the bull by the horns – and successfully so, as it seems. Istvan’s product: a sex chair, filled with modern technology. But the VT chair has much more to offer than just high-tech, as the designer and artist tells us in our EAN interview. Among other things, we talk about the VT chair design and we discuss the question if luxury products are the future of the adult market.
Vivian Technology is a young company in the adult market and your first product doesn’t even have a name yet. Would you mind introducing yourself and your product to our readers?
Istvan Keszei: Vivian Technology is rather a start-up than a young company and it is only in the hallway of the adult market. The eroFame show in Germany will be the first public appearance of Vivian Technology, where the sex chair itself will debut. In January, we were in the US with a presentation at an investor trade show, and it became obvious that there is interest in luxury ride-on sex furniture, both among end-users and film studios.
This is the world’s first high-tech furniture with ride-on function which also offers a revolutionary control system. The leather surface on the luxury ride-on chair is sensitive to the touch, and this is how to control the chair. This piece of stimulating furniture combines high-tech technology with premium quality materials, reflecting the designer’s mission, which is to be different from others.
Before we talk more about the product you’ve designed, could you tell us a bit about yourself? Do you have previous experience in the adult market and how did you come up with the idea for your Luxury Sex Furniture?
I am the inventor of the Vivian Technology chair, a freelance designer, and lecturer at several universities. Since I started working as a designer, I have always been in search of a new design challenge and this is how I found myself creating innovations in the sex industry, because I found that this is an area where design is needed.
One of my core subjects in the field of education is Innovative Materials and Technologies, so the use of innovative technology in the VT chair is no coincidence. My research has shown that most furniture-type sexual aids have a very industrial appearance, especially when it comes to sex machines. Some machines look more like a drill or cutter, they are not sexy at all, sometimes even aggressive. Sexual products are becoming more popular and therefore, I think – speaking as a designer – design is becoming more and more important in this area. As the market grows, demand for better products is also increasing.
The development of our chair is not based on just one basic idea. There was a special direction and target we were going for in terms of ergonomics: We felt the product should be able to be used in multiple positions. Then, there was our second goal concerning the appearance and materials, and of course, we were also pursuing a third, separate goal when developing the design of the control system. As these three plans emerged and developed, they converged into the final design. So, it is a bit difficult to say what the basic idea behind the chair was. However, if I had to highlight one challenge that I consider to be the most important element about my design, then it is definitely how we made the controls of a sex chair more natural.
So far, the VT chair only exists in prototype form
You will present your chair at the next eroFame in October. What will the visitors notice first when they see your product?
This is a good question and I would also like to know the answer from the visitor’s point of view. If I had to put myself in their position, seeing the product for the first time, then I would say that the first thing that catches your eye is the sensual form, the sophisticated materials, and the combination of colour and surface. It also turned out that whoever sees it usually wants to touch it, feel it or sit on it, but the biggest surprise awaits after we have described the chair control system. So the first reaction is important, but it does not give you the whole picture.
Why do your customers need a luxury sex chair? How would you describe your target audience?
With regard to the quality of the objects around us, it can be seen that the middle-of-the-road product is slowly disappearing. The two areas diverge more and more. Mid-price products are disappearing from the market. As a result of this process, demand for luxury products is growing. That is why I think our VT chair could be a successful product. When I hear about luxury, I’m not just thinking about the price tag.
The fact that a product is classified in the luxury category also says something about its form and function. The target audience I see for our chair is people who surround themselves with design objects in a sophisticated environment and of course are open to new and innovative technologies in the field of sexuality.
The Vivian Luxury sex chair is much more than just a vibrating chair. Which options does your product offer the user?
The chair is a ride-on sexual aid with interchangeable dildo with back and forth motion – input depth and movement speed can be adjusted. In addition, some parts of the leather surface vibrate, and this vibration can also be controlled. Since the control is based on a computer, all functions can be adjusted from a phone or tablet. That is the element we are still working on.
Can you tell us more about the technology inside the product? How is it powered and how can the user control it?
I would describe the controls as a function rather than a technology. The device works with electricity. To turn the ride-on sex furniture “on” and “off” and to control the depth of the penetration of the dildo, there is a dial control mechanism. This centrally positioned dial knob is also equipped with a LED display that constantly indicates the penetration depth of the dildo. When the ride-on sex furniture is turned on, the dildo’s penetration can be continuously adjusted via the dial knob.
The ride-on sex furniture also comes with a revolutionary new and unique controller system apart from the control button. The leather on the sex chair is sensitive to the touch. From the smallest touch on the hard grip, the ride-on sex furniture “feels” your presence and allows you to control the dildo movement through subtle touch signals. Controlling the sex chair with the grip of a hand or clenching the thighs is part of the sexual experience just like in real sexual intercourse. The stronger the pressure on the surface, the more intense the dildo movement gets.
When it comes to ”big“ products as a chair, the looks are especially important. Which guidelines did you follow in this regard?
I do not think a chair is exceptionally big from the design point of view, and there are actually a lot of well-designed handheld, small objects in the field of sexual aids, but not many large, furniture-like sexual aids. I’m a professional designer and an artist. Of course, there is a guideline that is defined by a moodboard, ergonomic needs, and technical features, but there is also the mystery of art that is difficult to explain.
A perfect product offers a good balance of form, emotion, technology, and function all in one. I consider the visual effect as a function, and I work on it with the same care I apply to the ergonomic elements, the form, or the technical parametres. To answer the question, I followed my own guidelines, which were determined by research, ergonomic needs, technical solutions, and sketches.
“A perfect product offers a good balance of form, emotion, technology, and function all in one.”
What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome while designing the Vivian Luxury Sex Chair?
The biggest challenge was the design of the sitting surface. After completing the sketches, computer modelling was done in parallel with a 1:1 scale physical model and ergonomic testing. Due to the complexity of the sitting surface, it was also difficult to find the right leather material. I have created a new technology for using the classic diamond pattern for leather work, making for a much more distinctive design.
How much will the final product cost and when do you plan to present it to the market?
I can’t really talk about a sales price yet. I have a ballpark figure in my mind, there is also a price in the business plan, but it is not yet the time to go into the sales price. Based on research, I would say that the VT chair will be competitive with similar products on the market.
You are currently looking for partners to advance the project. What do you expect from a potential partner?
The next step is to create a second prototype that is ready for small serial production. To be able to take the next step, we need a financial investor. But we are looking for an investor who has some kind of manufacturing experience in the field of sexual aids.
How do you plan on distributing your product? Are you going to work with distributors?
I feel that it is too early to answer this question. Of course, a distribution network may be involved, but until we enter the phase of larger-scale serial productions, I see online sales as a first opportunity.
Society is becoming more open-minded about adult products. Do you think that sex furniture will also profit from this trend, or will it remain a niche product for enthusiasts?
The fact that society is becoming more and more accepting of sexual aids will naturally have a positive effect on the VT chair. This is also confirmed by the fact that more and more small sexual aids get acknowledgment in the form of internationally recognised design awards. I hope that the VT chair will get to the level where the owners are proud of it and look at it as a piece of design furniture.