DiCarlo’s startup, named after its owner Lora Haddock DiCarlo, won an innovation award from CES last year for a prototype of its sex toy, Osé, a hands-free robotic massager to stimulate pleasure for women. However, it was shut down by CTA, who revoked the award, calling Osé “immoral, obscene and profane.”
The CTA later restored the award and apologized to DiCarlo after a backlash from critics, who said the decision to ban a product geared towards women was sexist. The initial controversy led to CTA designating a floor for sex tech entrepreneurs to display their products with health and wellness companies. CES will let sex tech companies showcase their products on a one-year trial.
CES organizers also partnered with The Female Quotient, which trains businesses on workplace equality, to promote gender diversity at the tech show.
"We think we're at the precipice of social change when it comes to the conversation around sexual health and wellness," Lora Haddock DiCarlo, CEO and founder of the company, told FOX Business.
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DiCarlo's company reportedly pre-sold more than 10,000 of its Osé sex toys — priced at $290 each — in December alone. In the past year, Lora DiCarlo grew from a team of six to nearly 30 employees and the company said it tripled its sales at the end of 2019. Its new products launching at CES will hit the market in March, DiCarlo confirmed.
"The greatest challenge has been manufacturing this unique device on a mass scale. Prototyping was one thing, but the final micro-robotic device is made up of almost 250 parts to create biomimetic movement, and that was an undertaking to produce," DiCarlo said.