The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has released a statement that advises that it will be allowing sex tech startups to be part of their exposition on a trial basis. The announcement follows an embarrassing situation in January where the Computer Technology Association (CTA) awarded, then revoked an award for innovation after it discovered the nature of the company’s products. The CTA is responsible for planning and execution of the CES, and their policies in this instance rubbed many the wrong way. Sex tech company Lora DiCarlo was awarded an innovation award for a device that combined robotics and biomimicry to aid women in achieving a blended orgasm. While the CTA eventually re-issued the prize and an apology, it raised a lot of questions about the open-mindedness of the electronics show.
Initially planned as an expo for all things tech-related, the CES evolved into a place where tech innovators could come to show off their latest discoveries and applications. However, the extreme concern about the sexualization of tech has dogged the exposition’s steps. CTA has already issued statements that ban the use of “booth babes/people” with a strict dress code in effect. Booth operators are warned that they aren’t allowed to wear skimpy, scandalous, or revealing clothing while on the floor. Companies that fail to observe the regulations will lose out on prime floor space and are likely to be moved to less desirable locations as punishment.
Embracing All Types of Innovation
The inclusion of sex tech in the CES is a positive step forward, since ignoring an entire sub-industry because of prudishness is unfair to those innovators. The CTA does have guidelines in place for the new category, however. In association with Lora DiCarlo, the company amended its guidelines when it comes to sex tech, but included the caveat that any technology included in the new category would need to include innovative or new applications of tech to qualify.