Consumer electronics is a very broad category and includes devices that can be used in every room in the house – including the bedroom. The Consumer Technology Association, the organisation that runs CES, gives out Innovation Awards each year and this time handed a gong to sex toy company Lora DiCarlo.
But after telling the company they were winners, the award was withdrawn and company told they weren’t allowed to even exhibit.
The Osé Robotic Massager was given an “honoree” designation in the robotics and drones category of the CES Innovation Awards, which are awarded by an independent panel that ranks various products. If a product scores enough points, it is recognised as an honoree.
After being told they won the award Lora DiCarlo was informed the product didn’t comply with the rules barring products that are “immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or not in keeping with CTA’s image will be disqualified”. Once they were called out on this discrepancy – CES has been a place sex toys have been shown for some time – they changed their tune, saying the device didn’t fit the category it was judged in (robotics and drones.)
Pulling this award over a technicality is not a good look for an industry that has long struggled with inclusivity. And the initial reason for pulling the award – citing “immoral, obscene, indecent, profane” products not being eligible is straight from the Moral Police playbook.
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is clearly tone deaf and behind the times. If the product doesn’t comply with the category – surely the judges could have identified a non-compliant product – then it should have not received any points in the award scoring. But the CTA’s ham-fisted approach to this only draws attention to its archaic view of what is in 21st century society.