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22 May, 2020 15:35

Robot sex dolls: The real winners in the coronavirus pandemic

Robot sex dolls: The real winners in the coronavirus pandemic

Though made of silicone and often considered the choice of sexual loners, there’s nothing inflated about the success of the robot sex doll industry, as the lockdown leaves singles and couples alike craving experimental excitement.

While the economic figures out today from the Office for Budget Responsibility show that the UK’s economic hit for the financial year ending April 2021 could be around £300 billion, one area of the economy is certainly enjoying a fantastic pandemic… the robot sex doll industry.

So when you see your neighbours packing the kids in the car and heading off for a day at the beach this weekend – social distancing and “essential travel” are for busybodies, after all – at least knowing that more sex dolls than ever are finding new friends during these tough times should cheer you up a bit. 

One supplier, Sex Doll Genie, says it is struggling to keep up with the surge in demand that has hit them since the lockdown began more than two months ago. SDG’s Janet Stevenson says the company she co-founded with her husband, Amit, has just added staff in both the US and Europe, bucking the global recession and the slashing of jobs across the retail sector, which continues to suffer as shops are shuttered.

Amit told Daily Star Online that, as a result of the increased interest in the rubberised companions, research and development was progressing at such a rate that models which can breathe and even simulate a heartbeat could be on the market by the end of the year.

Amit, clearly a pioneer in the sex doll biz, said he was hoping developers could come up with a way to hook the doll up to existing services such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, so that lonely lotharios can have a conversation with their new robot friend.

He said: “We're tinkering along with how we can put dolls in a mode where they can just talk to you, or flirt with you, all those romantic things you would expect your doll to do.”

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He may be overesеtimating the romantic expectations most people have of dolls, but hey, shoot for the stars. Don’t let the haters hold you back.

Just a quick look through the SDG website, with some of the lingerie-clad models posed looking wistfully out the window (searching for new love?), shows that sex dolls have feelings too.

They clearly enjoy life outside the bedroom wardrobe, with a crowd of them recently turning up to a K-League football match for FC Seoul. They seemed to be having fun, though it was hard to tell if they were smiling as they all wore surgical face masks.

It is often acknowledged by web historians that the demand for internet porn is what drove the development of secure e-commerce platforms now used by everyone. 

And in another key online area, even now, many contributors to porn video sites use video compression, streaming and resolution technology created with the latest high-end software and hardware costing thousands of pounds. 

Their discoveries can, in all seriousness, drive the industry forward for all of us, in audio and video development.

Now, the hunt for ever-more real experiences with sex dolls means that the R&D departments of their developers and those prepared to think outside the (plain-wrapped) box, like SDG’s Amit, are pushing the boundaries of the artificial intelligence experience.

Maybe they’re headed to places where most of us may never want to go, but if the day comes when we have robot carers, teachers, nurses, bus drivers and policemen as an everyday integrated feature of society, we’ll look back fondly on these these rubber sexbot pioneers, and maybe regret not showing them a bit more gratitude.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.