Proponents of the quantified self movement want to improve their lives by gathering and analysing their own, personal data. This philosophy emerged about ten years ago, and in the meantime, several trackers have appeared on the market that help with the collection of data such as pulse, number of steps made on any given day, sleep time, etc. – in short: Everything that can be quantified is boiled down to the numbers. It would be easy to also put ORing in that category – were it not for the big plans the inventors have for their product. We interviewed Natalie Mitchell and Iris Muller to learn about the advantages data collection can have for the user, and to find out if ORing is also a great product apart from the digital technology.
You just finished a successful crowdfunding campaign for your first product, ORing. What is ORing and what convinced your backers to support it? Natalie: ORing is an unconventional vibrating ring that combines advanced software and hardware to greatly facilitate female orgasms and add spice to sex – especially through climax prediction and sex data integration into Apple Health.
It’s truly a great honor to have so much support from backers around the world. We believe people are interested in ORing because it’s brilliantly unique. On the one hand, ORing has improved performance of conventional vibrating ring to a new height—ORing’s world #1 vibration strength provides satisfying stimulation, the ergo design considered women’s individual differences, the ring guarantees that ORing stays perfectly in place, and no more hard-to-find control buttons. Just to name a few.
On the other hand, ORing’s app allows it to detect and track useful data for individual users. In this sense, ORing is a wearable device that keeps track of health data and improves users’ wellbeing in different aspects of life. The sex coach feature improves sex life of a couple, real-time counts & rankings add a bit of fun in sex, and data imported into Apple Health bring users more comprehensive health/fitness planning.
We believe it’s both ORing’s superior utility and novelty that make people willing to back it. We really have to thank our backers for their confidence in us, and we promise to deliver the best ORings.
Has a product like ORing been missing in today’s erotic market and how long have you been working on it? Natalie: In the erotic market, low-priced products abound. There are a few high-end products, but to us, they’re not innovative enough. Thus, we’re happy to bring in some fun elements and surprises to the erotic market.
The original purpose of ORing was to address deficiencies of conventional vibrating rings, so ORing precisely represents the missing piece of the erotic market. Overtime, ORing’s concept evolved, and now it is a revolutionary product.
ORing has many pioneering features — some more important than others — including the strongest vibration in the cock ring category, improved ergo design, climax prediction, Apple Health compatibility, control via Apple Watch, unlimited vibration pattern sets, and Qi wireless charging. Other crucial benefits of ORing include body-safe silicone material and waterproof guarantee.
All these features were either built on major downfalls of the then-existing sex toys in the erotic market or based on ideas to add fun to existing sex toys. From the conception of ORing to its development, testing, modification, improvement, and mass production, it has taken us almost two years. It was a lot of work (and failures), but we’re proud that we made it.
What can you tell us about the company behind ORing? Have you been active in the erotic industry before? Natalie:Oivita, the company behind ORing, was founded in 2014 by Natalie Mitchell and William Anker in California. We are a young startup of 7 members coming from different professional backgrounds but are equally passionate of bringing life wonders to people around the globe. Our strength is creative life solutions based on technology.
As a matter of fact, we’re rather new in the erotic industry, but we see it positively. Our freshness allows us to look at the industry and current product offerings in a different perspective and to apply our expertise in the high-tech world to high-end erotic products, bringing new benefits to consumers. Of course, there’s a lot to learn in the erotic industry, but we’re having fun while working and learning hard on our way to deliver more “wows” to our supporters.
You describe the form of ORing as a „golden curve“. How is the design different from competing products? Iris: Clitoral stimulation is a key part of a vibrating ring. Before ORing, a common “shape” problem of vibrating rings is comfortable touching of the clitoris was not guaranteed, mainly because: 1) the ring does not stay in place and easily slips away from the clitoris, and 2) the touching pad has an imperfect shape, sometimes too short/small to reach the clit, sometimes too flat to make the touching pleasant.
ORing’s “ring” part is extremely flexible so all penises, regardless of the size, could feel comfortable wearing it without the ring moving around unwantedly. The touching pad of ORing has a mild curve—the golden curve—wide enough to guarantee a smooth touch on the clit.
ORing is a product that aims to enhance sex for both partners. What do you as a designer have to keep in mind when creating a couples’ product? Iris: At Oivita, we’re convinced that technology should work for humanity, so we’ve always worked toward this goal. When designing ORing, same as designing any good product, we considered both physical and psychological elements of human being. But different than normal designs, we had to take care of the need of both sexes, making sure both sexes enjoy using ORing.
Physically, men and women are completely different. In order to ensure physical comfort and sex functionality facilitation, we put a lot of efforts in ORing’s shape (ergo) and material. Just to give you an example: the “golden curve” makes sure a woman’s clitoris is touched pleasantly, and for the man, the slight tightening of the ring makes blood in the penis flow back (just a bit) and affect swelling of the penis (just a bit), creating a different — more pleasant — experience in ejaculation.
Psychologically, we too know that two sexes have differences; especially, female’s ability to enjoy sex is often subject to “feelings” and it can be subtle. That’s why ORing’s app has the function that guides a man to understand and satisfy his woman’s sexual preferences. She doesn’t need to say a word!
We hope ORing takes care of not just “sexual receptors” but also the mind. Sparking lives with insight, innovation, and fusion of leading technology to fulfil users’ desires has always been our only, ultimate purpose.
Being able to chronicle speed, time, and calories burned during sex seems rather gimmicky. What’s the real added value the user draws from the collected data? Natalie: As you’ve noticed, recording and tracking data during sex such as speed, time and calories burned are just the first step. The true value lays in the utility of these data and, thus, improved health/wellness of ORing’s users. This can be achieved in several aspects:
Health/fitness planning: We know that, in an extensive health/fitness plan, tracking of calorie intake and calories burned is essential, and energy burned in sex is not negligible. With ORing’s data imported into Apple Health, one’s overall health/fitness record becomes more comprehensive and complete.
Pregnancy planning: Under “Reproductive Health” of Apple Health, once ORing’s data are introduced, tracking and planning for personal & family health—pregnancy, pregnancy prevention, and other related activities— are considerably improved, because ORing’s data are the extremely relevant.
Detection of abnormal health conditions: In our sex life, few people would notice signs of health problems that emerge during sex. ORing “visualizes” a man’s physical conditions by detecting and displaying fluctuations in his performance—push strength, velocity, time duration, etc. (With the use of Apple Watch, his heart rhythms are also tracked.) These data can be used as personal and/or professional health reference.
Data security is important, especially when it comes to sex toys. How will you make sure that the customer can use ORing without having to worry about personal information getting into the wrong hands? Natalie: Frankly speaking, we shouldn’t really disclose our information safety measures in order to fully protect our customers, but we’re willing to share a bit with EAN’s readers.
We not only have SSL encryption but also ensure that not a single server has all the data and user information ORing records. In other words, even if a server is hacked—which rarely happens— only partial data will be revealed, and these incomplete data are pretty much useless. In addition, we don’t use user data for activities that bear user names and/or violate user privacy. So, ORing’s users need not worry about personal privacy; just enjoy the smart benefits that ORing brings to you.
A penis ring is usually a rather low-priced product. Are good design and software enough to convince the customers to pay for a premium ring? Natalie: Indeed, the price range of cock ring is extremely stretched. ORing is positioned in the high-end category, whose price is solidly justified by its (functional and mental) benefits, which we mentioned a lot earlier. ORing bring better value than cheaper penis rings that have much weaker vibration, inferior ergo, lack of real waterproof protection, and less durability, etc. Without these essential features, a penis ring is much less enjoyable and not always delivers what it’s supposed to—sex enjoyment. In contrast, ORing boosts multiple orgasms…and people love it.
On the other hand, if you look at ORing from a more “techie” perspective, ORing is actually a wearable device, with sex activity and sex acts counts, calorie tracking, personal history, ranking, etc. It’s really not more expensive than Fitbit, for instance.
At the end of the day, our successful campaign has showed that people recognize the unique values ORing brings to them.
Will you work also with distributors, and when can retailers start placing orders if they want your products in their shops? Natalie: We are still talking with several distributors. Our product is ready for placing orders. For those retailers who want to test their market can purchase the retailer pack (10 Pack Deal) in our Indiegogo campaign site immediately.
We’re highly interested in working with distributors, no matter the region, who would love to spread our passion and idea to better satisfy consumers. We would love to see ORing used and loved by more people, and we believe companies that constantly improve offering and quality that exceed consumers’ expectations are the ones we should be working with.
What will be the next steps for Oivita? What are your plans for the time after the launch? Natalie: The successful campaign of ORing has given us a great confidence boost to continue in the erotic market, so definitely we’ll keep working on more erotic innovations.
Next month, ORing will go into mass production, and in 2017, we’ll start with a campaign for our highly expected project, OVibe. OVibe is a temperature-control vibrator that automatically swells and strengthens vibration when a user is near climax. As you can imagine, again, there’s technology behind it, and this time quite sophisticated. We already obtained a patent for it.
Before mid-2017, we’ll launch several other erotic and non-erotic products. We truly hope our products can bring joy and wonders to people’s lives. There’s not limit to happiness.