An innovative new sex toy is about to hit markets. MysteryVibe’s Crescendo contains six motors, is fully insertable, and provides simultaneous stimulation to the clit, Skene’s Gland (a.k.a. G-Spot), and any other parts of the vagina and vulva that want attention. The toy features wireless charging, a fully flexible spine, and can vibe to a personalized playlist through its corresponding app.
Crescendo has been featured at tech conventions and conferences all over the world, from TechCrunch Disrupt in New York City to Web Summit in Dublin. It’s not only making waves in the adult pleasure market, but also in the tech field
Although MysteryVibe is partnered with a global collective of world leading tech and hardware companies, Crescendo was created at the hands of an average couple – Sasha Z. and Joe A. – neither of whom had designed a sex toy before.
If you guys had been told years ago that one of your biggest projects would be designing a sextoy, what would your reactions have been?
J: As a designer, there are two things that a designer gets to work on in their life: one is a sextoy, and one is a chair. I would say it’s most product designers’ dream to at one point or another have designed a sextoy; it’s just something you’d like to do one day.
S: I would have been like, no way. [laughs] Me, designing a sextoy?!
You guys say you considered yourselves an adventurous couple prior to this endeavor, but that sex and sex-tech were not necessarily the backgrounds you were coming from.
S: I’m a product designer. I’ve been working in that field for the past five years. Probably because I’m the only female designer on the team, they gave the project to me, and to Joe, because he’s an engineer, and we’re a couple, so it was quite convenient for the company. They needed a female involved in this project.
J: Sasha predicts trends. She searches all the blogs for what’s trendy and for what people like and what they don’t. She’s pretty much on every single project when it comes to the styling and design phase; she takes hold of what people really want from a product at that moment, so she was ideal for working on Crescendo.
So Joe, you were paired up with Sasha on this project because you’re an engineer, but also because you guys are a couple so you could be used for testing.
S: They probably saw that it was convenient because we were not going to be ashamed with each other, like I maybe would have been if they assigned another engineer to work with me.
J: I’m the creative design engineer for the company, I get to work on all sorts of products. I give the company a rough idea of whether or not something is possible, and then I’ll go and make some prototypes.
I worked on what you see on the inside of Crescendo, where the electronics fit, where we put the motors, how the vibrations travel through all of the materials.
Between the two of us, we had the skills to take a product from concept to production. Basically we were given the reins with design for Crescendo; we were told that we were to design what would be the next best sex toy on the market. They said that they wanted it to bend in any orientation and to hold its shape. That was the only brief point.
S: They also told us about the eight motors, and the music.
J: The primary technology though, was that they wanted the bending mechanism. They wanted us to fit eight motors all inside of this mechanism. And it needed to be small enough and slim enough to fit into a body, and be in a sextoy type shape. The challenge was to make something small and sleek, and have tons of technology packed into it, so that you could get your .mp3s played through the vibrations rather than through a sound system, or play tracks through the vibrations of the eight different motors linked to the [sound] wave frequency.
S: Initially we were told eight motors or more.
It’s six now.
J: We found that you weren’t necessarily benefiting from more motors than that, because you already got all the different frequencies by having six.There’s already twice as much power [in Crescendo] as there is from any other vibrator on the market. The technology that’s in this thing has allowed it to surpass any other [vibrator], so it didn’t need to have any extra motors in it. We wanted to have a really long battery life as well.
It’s also one of the few sex toys that can be submerged and can actually be charged through the device without having cables, using conductive charging. You can have this [hardware] all sealed into the silicon tube so that no water can leak in. It’s really clean, it doesn’t have any nooks or crannies or any room for things to get stuck. With conductive charging, we can just place this thing on top of the pad, and it charges itself without having wires or anything to plug into.
S: From the aesthetic point of view, we wanted to make it quite clean and discreet. Because lots of sextoys to me, look quite sexual.
J: They’re really phallic, and can be kind of scary and intimidating.
S: They’re also very male…it’s probably guys who design such toys, because girls don’t usually go for something that looks like a penis, they go for…something else. But we wanted it still to be a long shape, so instead of making it round, we made it kind of flat.
J: The nitty gritty of it is we did some testing ourselves, of what felt right. We found that when we were using larger diameters, such as the big fat dildos that exist already, you didn’t get much feeling with rotation. When we used the flat shape, [Sasha] had more feeling.
S: There’s lots of restriction when you design something for a big company. Like, you can’t make something with sharp edges, because some people might use it the wrong way. So it’s quite softly shaped.
J: We did do some user research back at home. We also went to all of the shops and bought all of the existing sextoys by all the big names. We bought everything. And we went and tested all of it, so that we could get a really good idea ourselves of how to design such a product; we had to find out what was good and what wasn’t. Obviously there’s a line that you have to come back to; it has to be so and so for the mass market, it has to be safe, etc. And then we’d sit down with the design team and we would draw up a lot of concepts.
From those concepts (we had hundreds and hundreds, Neil is one of the guys in the company who does all the sketching, and we had the entire office covered in about a thousand sketches of sextoys), I went away and made models. I’d use computer software to make 3D models of the ideas we had. Then they’d get cut out of foam, or out of molding block, so that we could have an actual real sized model in front of us. And in some cases we had them cast in medical grade silicon so that we could actually try some of these shapes out.
Once we found out what shapes and what designs we liked, there were lots of different iterations. As you know, the thing bends to hold its shape, and that was one of the biggest design challenges that we came up against. It’s like nothing else on the market; Yes, it’s got motors in it, yes, it vibrates to different frequencies, but what most sextoys on the market don’t do is bend to a custom shape and form so that you can find what you want. And that was a real challenge. It took us most of the [design] time to figure it out.
We tried elastic, we tried tubes that freeze the whole shape, we tried using motors to control the shape, we tried using steel to control the shape…we tried everything. We tried copper down the center, but ultimately what we came up with in the end was a friction hinge (what laptops use), so that we could really easily and really smoothly move it.
As far as at-home testing of earlier prototypes of Crescendo was concerned, were you guys focusing more on testing it as a couple’s toy or as a toy for solo play?
J: We’re a couple, so I suppose it was couple testing.
S: Yeah, that’s why they gave it to us. It was important in the testing stage for us to do hands-on research.
J: As a guy, this thing didn’t actually go inside me.
J: I was obviously using this device when we were using it together, so yeah, I would say it was more of a couple’s experience. We want to get guys more involved and not feel intimidated by the product, so I was bearing in mind which models were uncomfortable for me to use–particularly the ones that were shaped like a big penis; I don’t know if most guys would be comfortable using something like that. This device felt like Sasha could have used it alone, if I wasn’t there. I probably wouldn’t have been so bothered by that because it’s not a–
Yeah, because it’s not a penis.
But also, it was quite good because it could be used during sex, it could be used to start things up, it could be used before and/or after. It was like an add-on. It wasn’t something that took over, necessarily. We didn’t want something that a guy felt intimidated by, or that the girl got overly carried away with or distracted by.