Slate.com Reports on the Future of Vibrators, XBIZ 360

Jan 17, 2013 2:00 PM PST

LOS ANGELES — Slate.com’s Amanda Hess attended last week’s XBIZ 360 Pleasure Products Conference to discover the upcoming trends in sex toy design and mainstream convergence, and spotlights the event’s visionary keynote speaker Jimmyjane founder Ethan Imboden in a recent article.

The article “The Vibrator of the Future Is Already Here” highlights some of the hot topics that arose through-out the day-long slate of panel discussions, including the aesthetics and functions that consumers are most drawn to. At the forefront of innovative pleasure product design is Jimmyjane, whose founder and chief creative officer spoke on the “iToy: Hottest Trends in Sex Toy Design and Technology” panel and delivered the conference’s keynote address. In his presentation, Imboden discussed his company’s history creating pleasure products based on futuristic, sci-fi inspired concepts.

According to the article, “In a one-hour slideshow presentation, Imboden unveiled a different view on how the sex industry will change in the next few years: It will be flooded with entrepreneurs with ‘no prior experience in the category,’ who ‘see their outsider’s perspective as an asset,’ and are lush with venture capital. Imboden clicked through to a headshot of himself. He clicked again, and the headshot replicated, filling the screen with more and more photos of his face. ‘It’s the invasion of the Ethans,’ he told the crowd. The future of the sex industry looks like him.”

Hailing from the mainstream product design world, Imboden designed everything from toothbrushes to computers and cellphones, before he founded Jimmyjane. In his keynote, Imboden discussed entering the industry with an intent to produce a high-quality, design-focused pleasure item, being balked at and ultimately taking his brand directly to the mainstream.

“Now, when Imboden unveils new products, the industry listens,” says the Slate article. “When we talk about ‘crossover’ successes in the adult industry, we tend to focus on people like Sasha Grey and James Deen, industry professionals who are so personally successful that they break out of the X-rated world to gain acceptance in the mainstream. But when a mainstream pro like Imboden turns his eye to sex, the entire industry gains a level of respect. Imboden could be designing computers, but instead he’s designing sex toys. That recommends using sex toys as a legitimate pursuit.”

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