LOS ANGELES — Last night, industry leaders and innovators from the pleasure products sector were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the industry — both product-wise and for general impact — at the 2015 XBIZ Awards. (photo galleries)
Varying aesthetics aside, some of the biggest winners were united in their commitment to working in tandem with technological advancements to enhance the functionality, diversity and sheer potential of pleasure products, making it a more sophisticated category than ever before.
Fleshlight took home the Innovative Sex Toy of the Year (Design) Award for its LaunchPAD novelty accessory.
The Fleshlight LaunchPAD features a signature Fleshlight or Flight product that holds an Apple iPad, enabling the user to enjoy a fully immersive Fleshlight experience, while surfing porn or chatting live with a friend via applications like Facetime or Skype. As several mainstream media outlets have pointed out, the LaunchPAD essentially lets users make love to their iPads.
Brian Shubin, COO of Interactive Life Forms, the makers of Fleshlight brand products, acknowledged that the LaunchPAD catapulted the Fleshlight brand into a completely new market.
“This product is something that’s really cool. We developed this product to kind of crossover — it’s going to be on Buzzfeed, it’s going to be Gizmodo. It’s something that attracts new eyeballs, like mainstream consumers,” he told XBIZ backstage.
Tech-forward company Revel Body was recognized for its SOL Sonic Vibrator, which was named the Innovative Sex Toy of the Year (Technology).
SOL Sonic Vibrator is powered by patented TrueSonic Technology, innovating the core feature of all vibrators — the vibration itself.
The company’s first patent was granted in January 2012 for its linear-resonant vibration module, which produces vibrational forces by magnetic force. Its second patent, received in October 2014, elaborates on the technology of the first. The technology, in layman’s terms, enables stronger and more variegated vibrations.
While Revel Body CEO Robin Elenga said the win came as a complete surprise, he understands why his product has been such a hit with consumers.
“I think people understand that vibrators should compete on vibration, and that’s what we’re really focused on — providing better vibration without the drawbacks that provides better pleasure to people,” he explained.
Continuing the tech-centric theme, Standard Innovation Corporation’s We-Vibe Plus 4, an app-compatible vibrator that connects couples remotely, was named Couples Sex Toy of the Year.
The product works with the free We-Connect app to offer smartphone control of the vibe from anywhere in the world, as well as custom vibration play lists.
Standard Innovation is well known for its ability to transcend conventional design, and CEO Denny Alexander said he was ecstatic to continue to impress and score industry accolades.
“We think it’s a really great product, and we think we’re bringing new innovation to couples’ lives,” added Tristan Weedmark, global passion ambassador at We-Vibe. “I think it’s only for the better. The more we create intimacy and connection between couples, the better for everybody.”
Newcomer Kiiroo, which focuses on the burgeoning world of teledildonics, proved its staying power by sweeping the title of New Pleasure Products Company of the Year.
The signature product, which shares the namesake of the company, encompasses two devices that conform to male and female’s respective anatomy. Both devices are equipped with sensors and accelerometers that measure speed and distance and are tethered together via the Kiiroo platform online. The movements made with one device (i.e., thrust speed and depth) reportedly will be felt by the other — across sea, land and cyberspace.
Established brands in the business were also honored for their continued excellence in both business and innovation. Returning to the stage for another year’s win was Sportsheets International, taking home the title of BDSM Company of the Year.
Adam & Eve was recognized as Retailer of the Year (Chain), proving that tried-and-true has its place in the whizzing world of technological advancement.
Adam & Eve’s National Business Director Chad Jenny and Director of Operations Ronnie Coutu noted the hard work that went into building the company into what it is today, but both ultimately credited their franchise operators with the win. “Our operators are at the heart of everything that we do,” Coutu said. “These people all over the country come out every day and make us look great, so they’re the ones who really earned this.”
Other significant wins of the evening included The Screaming O’s take home of the prestigious Sex Toy Company of the Year Award.
Magic Silk was named Lingerie Company of the Year.
For a complete list of all 2015 XBIZ Award winners, click here.