CES 2019: Sex toy reawarded robotics prize

Lora DiCarlo chief executive Lora HaddockImage copyright Lora DiCarlo
Image caption Lora Haddock says she is thankful for the decision

A sex toy that was banned from this year’s CES tech show after winning an innovation award has been given the prize again, four months later.

The Ose robotic vibrator by Lora DiCarlo was originally given the prize by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) in January.

However, the CTA quickly changed its mind and ousted the device, causing outrage.

The organisation has now offered a “sincere apology” to Lora DiCarlo.

The CTA was accused of “gender bias” at the time in a blog by Lora Haddock, the founder and chief executive of the Lora DiCarlo company.

Ms Haddock argued that the organisation had rejected a product focused on female sexuality, whereas shopping or childcare-related items aimed at women were allowed to remain in the same award category as the vibrator.

“We firmly believe that women, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and LGBTQI folks should be vocally claiming our space in pleasure and tech,” she said.

“The CTA did not handle this award properly,” said Jean Foster, a marketing executive at the organisation.

“This prompted some important conversations internally and with external advisers, and we look forward to taking these learnings to continue to improve the show.”

Ms Haddock said she appreciated the “gesture” from the CTA, which would serve to “remove the stigma and embarrassment around female sexuality”.

“The incredible support and attention we’ve received in the wake of our experience highlights the need for meaningful changes, and we are hopeful that our small company can continue to contribute meaningful progress toward making CES inclusive for all,” she added.

Image copyright Lora DiCarlo
Image caption The Ose robotic vibrator was banned from CES

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