Really, Really, Really Intimate Interfaces

Location: Marina Ballroom E Level: Novice

Fitt’s Law applies a lot of places in UI design, but sex isn’t one of them. Of course, sex hasn’t needed an interface until recently, but with the advent of teledildonic (internet controlled) sex toys and other internet naughtiness, the WIMP paradigm of UI just isn’t going to cut it anymore. Simply put, sliders and orgasms don’t go together.

What can we learn from sex hardware interfaces? So far there’s been simple pink sliders, spaceships with throttles, and end user graphical programming interfaces, and we’re only hitting the tip of the iceberg.

If an interface is inviting enough that someone is willing to have the most intimate of experiences using it, can we apply these ideas to, say, installing printer drivers? And if so, how?

Photo of Kyle Machulis

Kyle Machulis


Kyle Machulis, aka qDot, is a researcher of alternate input mechanisms and haptics, which is really a fancy way of saying he breaks sex toys. Through his Slashdong webpage (, he uses the topic of teledildonics (remotely actuated sexual experience) to teach the basic concepts of software, electrical and mechanical engineering. He also tracks the convergence of sex and technological advances in toys and interaction, building on the idea that paradigms for interfaces people would use for intimate encounters on computers can be extended to other usage experiences. In his spare time, he keeps a full time job as a developer at Linden Lab.


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