In the meantime, I've also been working on the idea independently of the engineering firm, so last week I put on my Mad Scientist hat1 and built a simple proof of concept.
Then I went to my friend Emily and said "hey, I have this prototype of a computerized strapon with sensors and a wearable computer and stuff, do you want to help me test it?"
"Sure!" she said, because my friends rock. (I love my life.)
So two days ago, I showed up at her house bearing the crude prototype. "Okay," I said when we were safely in her bedroom, "this bit goes here, and that bit goes up in front like so..."
There were some design flaws in the first version--the wires leading from the computer to the electrode weren't quiiiiiite long enough, so she ended up doing this one-legged dance trying to put it on. When it was all powered up and running (which looked quite odd--the sensors mounted to the big purple dildo all have little red lights that come on to show the sensor is working, so the overall effect looked a bit like a prop from a 70s science fiction porn flick), we spent some time adjusting the signal generator and making sure everything was working, and then got to it. I touched the sensors and had her describe what she felt. At one point, as I knelt in front of her stroking her cock, it suddenly struck me exactly what I was doing. "Man," I said, looking up at her, "this is really obscene."
"But Franklin," I hear you ask, "how did it work?"
Emily wrote a really good writeup from her perspective on her blog, appropriately titled "Brains, Bunnies and Boners." Here's an excerpt:
I stood sporting a sizable electrode-covered, purple erection as this man knelt before me stroking the blinking phallus. Looking dreamily into space, I concentrated on this new sensation and how to communicate it. He asked questions that had nothing to do with arousal and everything to do with programming or nerve density. It crossed my mind briefly that this was a strange situation. Covered in wires, half naked in front of a man I’m not intimately connected to, waxing poetically about the sensation of him passively stimulating my g-spot. Meanwhile he educates me on the corresponding connections between penis and vagina, sensitivity wise. [...]
I see him touching the wirey and weird strap on, the sensation of that cock hitting my pubic bone becoming enough to fully trick my mind. The arousal of the plug flitting electrical currents over my internal nerves quickly translates into a thought of, “wow if he keeps doing that I’m going to get a hard on during science and that will be embarrassing.” Except logically I know I already have a hard on. A big purple one that he brought along for me to borrow. My brain has already made the adjustment in the five minutes we’ve been testing this to believing in the new genitals.
So the answer is it works really, really well. Far better than I expected, given how primitive the prototype was. Within minutes, it seemed her brain had internalized the dildo as part of her body; she said that touching the dildo felt like touching her. Which was amazing. I'd expected just to validate that the device could be made to work; I didn't expect it to work that well.
Eve and I are actively pursuing making this device a reality. We're currently enrolled in a venture accelerator program in Vancouver and we're doing market research to validate the market for this device. Interested in being interviewed as part of that market research! Hit me up in email! franklin (at) franklinveaux (dot) com.
1 By which I mean my Mad Engineering hat. Well, technically, my Mad Engineering Magnifiers for Precision Soldering.
Want to keep up with developments? Here's a handy list of blog posts about it: