Speaking to Business Insider, Angelina Aleksandrovich, CEO, founder and creative director of the avant-garde sex tech company Raspberry Dream Labs predicted a post-pandemic age where cyber sex experiences and technologies such as sex simulators and VR sex games will see a huge surge in demand. The ‘new normal’ will be sex tech-related, and here’s the crucial part Raspberry Dream Labs will play in it.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, everything changed, including our relationship with intimacy. As we put our real-life interactions on hold, we first turned to novel apps to entertain ourselves, only to grow tired of Houseparty pretty quickly. As Clubhouse replaced it, we also started wondering about how different the world of dating will be when we finally get to meet people face to face again. But what about our current love life—what about our current sex life?
For those of us who didn’t manage to grab that last-minute-someone to spend lockdown with—and for those who just didn’t want to—sex in the past year has been pretty one-sided and technology-reliant. We saw sex tech rise to stardom like never before, and for good reasons. In comes Raspberry Dream Labs!
During lockdown, Aleksandrovich’s company has been busy building a rig and software where people who are apart can still enjoy intimacy. “The time is so ripe for it,” she told Business Insider. As a transhumanist specialising in creative storytelling through Extended Reality (XR) technologies with a background in sculpture and performance art, it’s safe to say that the creative director knows what she’s talking about.
Back in university, Aleksandrovich grew the world’s first VR headset out of mushroom mycelium and created her first 360° film about the process. Since then, she has worked with many global brands, including Nike, Samsung, Adidas, SXSW, Dove, and many others on a variety of award-winning high-profile productions where she designed and directed interactive and multi-sensory technology activations.
In 2019, she founded Raspberry Dream Labs, a collective of artists and engineers creating innovative multi-sensory solutions for cyber sex “to combine my technical and production expertise with one of my greatest passions: human sexuality,” her website reads. As a part of this, she also curates and moderates bi-monthly events named UNSENSORED talks and speaks publicly on the themes of sex, technology, XR and intimacy in the digital age. Her latest one? ‘Are we ready for sex robots?’
In the post-pandemic future envisioned by Raspberry Dream Labs, some people will remain reserved about meeting new potential partners in person, for obvious reasons. With the help of immersive visuals, sounds, and even scents, the collective’s rig is meant to give users who are far apart a new sense of intimacy. “It also places haptic pulses on their bodies, giving them the sense of being touched. It’s still a prototype but eventually, users will be able to wear the rig and enter the company’s virtual platform, Raspberry Dream Land, to meet others,” Business Insider reports.
And for those of you who are still sceptical about the rig’s potential to change the norm, Raspberry Dream Labs already demoed the experience recently, hosting a week-long event that celebrated sexuality, identity, gender, body, technology and futurism. It included talks given by artists and sex-tech proponents, who attempted to demystify cyber sex, said its founder.
Now, the company is getting prepared to publicly launch its safe and uncensored ‘Dream Land’. On there, users will be able to “meet in the virtual world, go on the dates, attend events that would be censored elsewhere online, get playful and build meaningful connections over the distance,” explains Aleksandrovich.
For now, people who are interested in being a part of the platform’s launch can register their email address to be the first ones notified. And Raspberry Dream Labs is not the only company looking to elevate remote intimacy; more and more VR sex tech companies are releasing inexpensive products that are accessible to most customers, leading many who were previously reluctant to start considering these options as worthy ones.