The iPod and iPhone are pretty hot products here in Las Vegas. Earlier this week Spectrum reported on the first speaker system that you can plug an iPhone into without any pesky radio interference.
But new iPod accessories aren''t limited to the the Consumer Electronic Show. At the 2008 AVN Exposition last week, there are not one, but two different vibrators that you can hook an iPod into. Yes, vibrators. AVN is the largest trade show in the world for the adult entertainment industry. This year''s show, which started on the day CES ended, brought together more than 12 000 marketers and executives to show off their latest wares.
Most of the adult entertainment goods here don''t involve electrotechnology, but more than few of them do. And it seems to be the latest trend. Vibrators are a popular item at adult stores everywhere and for years they''ve included batteries. And now they include digital music.
One, the OhMiBod, been around since July 2006, though two models are newly released here at the show. The other, the Music Massager, by Funline, is just leaving a California factory this month.
Both models vary their vibrations to the beat and rhythm of the music. When Suki Dunham, co-owner of OhMiBod plugged my iPhone into the OhMiBod, we noticed a dearth of songs that were, well, vibrant. Basically, I had too many show tunes and vocalist tracks and not enough Queen or AC/DC. (I forgot I had a hip-album by Eminem.) I held the OhMiBod in my hand and started three charming but sedate songs before trying Natasha Bedingfeld''s hit, ''Unwritten,'' which finally had enough oomph. Better was the Fergy song ''Clumsy,'' played from Dunham''s iPod.
The OhMiBod is a single unit. A DSP discerns the musical qualities that get translated into the vibrator''s pulsations. The main design challenge, Dunham said, was to get the vibrations strong enough. Two AA batteries go into the base of the vibrator. A cord splits out to two audio-jacks, so that you can listen to your music as well as let it control the vibrator. It''s worth noting, though, that you might be the mood for one kind of song song kinaesthetically and another kind auditorily.
The Music Massager is a little different. A base unit plugs into an outlet, and the vibrator and the iPod plug into it. In fact, there''s yet another audio jack port, so that you can, again, listen to the music. Even though it has a separate unit delivering the power, the Music Massager runs off three AAA batteries.
The Music Massager wouldn''t play songs off my iPhone, probably because the audio jacks aren''t quite long enough (the iPhone''s audio port is a bit different from that of the iPod). The OhMiBod is more expensive, at US $69, versus $45. The company is working now on a wireless model.