Following two years of development and a successful crowdfunding campaign, things are getting serious for sex-tech start-up MysteryVibe: A thousand units of their debut product, Crescendo, are en route to early backers. Their feedback will be used to add some finishing touches to the product before it hits stores everywhere at the end of summer. In our EAN interview Soumyadip Rakshit (3rd from left in the picture), the co-founder and CEO of MysteryVibe, tells us about the latest developments of the Crescendo project, and we talk about the technologies that he feels will play an important role in the future of his company and the adult industry as a whole.
As we speak, the first batch of 1000 Crescendo Vibes is being shipped to the early backers of your crowdfunding campaign. Has the final product everything you promised when you started your campaign over a year ago?
Soumyadip Rakshit: We are very excited to finally have started shipping Crescendo to our backers. We spent a long time developing Crescendo as we wanted to create something that has never been done before – a toy that can be bent into many shapes and hold that shape really well to reach various spots at the same time. To extend the personalisation further, we also created the companion app to enable users to change the vibration patterns to suit their desire. We hope that Crescendo and app will delight everyone.
Originally, you planned to ship the first products in November last year. What was the reason for if being delayed until now?
As with all complex hardware projects, we came across a number of challenges during the manufacturing stage. We wanted to make sure that we ship a safe, certified product to our backers even though it took us an extra two months till late January before we could start shipping our first of the Pilot1000. During the Pilot1000 program, we are gathering all the users’ feedback and making those final improvements to make the retail version a true gold-standard product. We will then ship a second Crescendo to all our Pilot1000 users completely free of charge, as our small thank you for all their love.
Which features does the final product have? What sets Crescendo apart from other vibrators that are on the market right now?
We designed Crescendo to be all about you. With its flexibility, you can shape Crescendo to suit your mood, body and desire. Crescendo has six motors – delivering intensity that lasts for hours. It also charges wirelessly and is showerproof – no wires, no limits. Finally, you can use the companion app to enhance your experience of Crescendo with our sensual playlist of custom vibrations. We love all toys and see Crescendo as something that adds to your toy collection, something you play with when you want complete personalisability – shape and vibration.
Packaging is a topic, that gets more and more important, as the final release date gets closer. What can you tell us about the packaging of Crescendo?
Crescendo is full of layered delights, and the packaging is no different. We worked closely with world-renowned packaging designers seymourpowell, to create something which was elegant, discreet and functional. All handmade, the box is luxurious to look and touch and the pouch beautifully crafted to make travelling with Crescendo a breeze.
To use Crescendo to its full potential, the user should use the corresponding app. Is the app just a remote control for the toy or does it offer more features?
You can play with Crescendo completely on its own. If you want to personalise your experience further you can use the App to try out new vibrations. The app will become more and more exciting as we build new features like live control, make your own vibe, etc.
Crescendo could is not only a sex toy, but also a technical product. Today, the technical development is moving faster than ever. Were you afraid during the development, that your product could be outdated, when it gets released?
We love designing outcome-driven products where tech simply acts as an enabler. While we packed in a lot of tech into Crescendo, we want users to enjoy it because of the pleasure it brings to their lives. As more and more tech comes into sex, we will no doubt see better products as a result of it. We love and welcome that as it pushes the whole industry forward in the right direction.
In that regard, when we compare the erotic industry with other technology industries: is the development in our industry going fast enough, to keep track with the potential of current developments (e.g. VR, Teledildonics)?
Sex has led adoption for cutting-edge innovations for decades – Video formats, Internet, DVDs to name just a few. It is likely to stay that way and continue championing new tech like VR long before it goes mainstream. So while sex tech might not be the ones creating the technology, they are definitely the ones championing and evangelising the tech to help it flourish.
In order to create progress, the erotic industry needs to attract the talent to make this progress happen. In your opinion: is the erotic industry attractive enough to compete with other industries in that regard or does it need to change?
While there are still taboos associated with sex, sex tech in particular has managed to attract a lot of talented people such as PhDs from MIT and Yale. It’s one of those areas where talented individuals who are passionate about bringing more pleasure to people’s live can actually get involved relatively easily and make a big difference. We’ve met some of the most incredible people over the past two years building MysteryVibe, so we feel extremely lucky to be part of this community!
The next version of Crescendo will have sensors installed, which will submit data to a central database. What data will be collected and what will it be used for? Can the user opt out?
We spend a lot of time researching into data usage, privacy and security with a wide range of focus groups. Our aim is to bring pleasure, happiness and joy to people’s lives and only use tech / data as an enabler to make that happen. So if some users don’t want data to be a part of that, that’s completely fine. On the other hand, if they want the completely immersive bedroom experience, they can tap into their own arousals through data. The app will give users three clear options – 1) Don’t save data; 2) Save data but don’t share with others; 3) Save data and share for research. In all cases the data that will be shared will be completely anonymous – so even at worst case, if it did get hacked, all the hacker would see is some squiggly lines.
When will Crescendo be available for customers, who didn’t pre order and for retailers? Where can they turn to, if they want to pick up your product?
Crescendo is still available to pre-order on our website mysteryvibe.com. Soon, when we have enough stock produced, we will move from pre-order to “Buy Now”. As we currently, hand make everything locally here in England, we are keeping it to only our website to manage the orders easily. Once we scale to automated production we will be able to launch in retail, which will be later in the summer.
Besides developing Crescendo further, will MysteryVibe work on other products after the release of your debut product?
Absolutely! One of the biggest feedback we got from our backers was the need for more great male toys. As soon as Crescendo launches in retail we will start the design of our next toy which – that will hopefully delight even more people all over the world.