SAN DIEGO, Calif.—For Jonathan Driscoll, creating the HUM falls somewhere between building a better mousetrap and saving the world, one orgasm at a time.
“It sounds a bit lofty, I know,” he told AVN. “But if we can make people get more in tune with their bodies and get in tune with better sex, then they will have better experiences.
“If we are pushing the boundaries of what is possible with a vibrator, then maybe we can make the world a better place in some small way,” he said with a laugh.
Driscoll, who holds a doctorate in physics, is the CEO/CTO of the San Diego-based Dimensional Industries Inc. Started in 2012, the company’s first product is the HUM, a vibrator that feels the actions of a user and responds—courtesy of motion and pressure sensors as well as two motors—to provide a more intimate sexual experience.
Dimensional Industries Inc.’s team of designers bring with them backgrounds working in physics, neuroscience, code writing, medical devices and much more. At the time, there was little in the way of sex tech.
“The inspiration came from seeing a ‘normal’ vibrator and thinking, ‘This is boring! Someone should make something better,’” Driscoll said. “The nice thing is that we weren’t influenced by anything, except maybe imagination/science fiction … which is a good way to work.”
Though today there are plenty of manufacturers who are using app-driven technology that can sync a pleasure product to their own or a lover’s smartphone, that type of function was not something the designers wanted for HUM.
“We weren’t even thinking about using a phone,” Driscoll said. “We set out thinking, wouldn’t it be better if you had a vibe that figures out what you like. A good lover pays attention to a partner, noticing when they speed up or slow down, when they respond to a certain movement and so on. Why couldn’t a vibrator do that too, instead of just be a piece of plastic that buzzed?”
The team took a different approach to HUM in other ways, as well. Rather than start with a price point in mind and work backwards to create a pleasure product to fit that framework, Dimensional Industries wanted only to make the best vibrator possible, no matter what it took.
To that end, he said, the company created inner workings for the HUM that included motion and pressure seniors that allow the vibrator to figure out orientation, speed and more. The motors run at different speeds, Driscoll said, and can go smoothly and continuously to any speed.
“The information comes into a pretty powerful ‘brain’ that then tells the motors how to work, which direction to move, when to speed up or slow down and more,” Driscoll said.
He noted that while “haptic technology” has become a blanket term to describe similar technology used in other products, the HUM is full-on artificial intelligence at work. HUM can pick up on patterns and give them back to a user. Changing the pattern is as easy as rotating HUM to one side or another. There’s no complicated patterns to program or jumble of buttons to learn; just turn on HUM and start using it.
“People still have control over HUM, but they can also have the option of relaxing and letting it take them on a ride,” Driscoll said.
Every HUM is assembled in California, with the manufacturer using hand-poured medical-grade silicone and a body-safe coating that was developed for use in the fields of aerospace and medical devices. The process allows HUM to enclose the motors and technology inside a seamless piece of silicone that is waterproof.
“The method we use to pour the silicone and the coating make HUM very strong and durable,” Driscoll said.
HUM retails for $199 to $229, depending on the color option chosen, and is available for purchase at MeetHUM.com.