Friendly Gizmag readers, if Part One of our Realtouch review left you feeling a little squeamish, it's probably best to click your way right back out of this page, because Part Two takes us into even murkier waters.
To briefly recap, the Realtouch is a USB-controlled pleasure machine that men can put their willies into. In Part One we discovered the amazing world of Realtouch porn, in which every movement performed by the on-screen pornstars is encoded such that whatever happens to the penis on screen happens in real time to the penis in my office, that being my own penis, thus smashing my personal record for most instances of the word "penis" in a single sentence.
The experience moved me to song – hit play to enjoy the appropriate (NSFW) soundtrack for the rest of this article, and if you like this sort of filth, do feel free to check out the rest of our Wrongtown Brothers stuff on Facebook.
Part One, however, was merely foreplay. Because Realtouch also runs a sister site called Realtouch Interactive, through which device owners can interact live with cam girl models, and which allows these models to control your device in real time.
Realtouch Interactive: Long-distance sex is now possibleIn one of the better stretches I can remember in my working life, I've spent the last couple of weeks having virtual sex with several girls around the world, including trysts with American, Filipino and Colombian lasses, from right here in my Australian office. For all the amazing technology I've experienced in my six years and 717 articles at Gizmag, this is one of only a handful of times when I've caught myself thinking "damn, I'm actually living in the future."
Here's how it works: you set up a "date" with a girl from the Realtouch Interactive site, either by messaging her and planning it in advance, or just going for it with somebody who happens to be online when you're ready to rumble.
This bit is awkward; I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I rarely schedule a toss. It tends to be a spur(m)-of-the-moment kind of decision, or a procrasturbation session when I'm faced with a stack of work to do (not recommended for those that don't work from home). So the idea of booking in time with somebody seemed dangerous. What if a visitor dropped in? What if the missus was extra frisky that morning and left me too drained to participate? As they say, I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was.
On the other hand, the stars really need to line up if you don't plan ahead. I'd feel a stirring in my loins, and the timing would be good, and I'd go and unpack and plug in and warm up the Realtouch, and get everything ready – and then log on to discover that nobody I liked the look of was online, or that the girl who WAS just online had logged off. Damn it!
Either way, once you've successfully set up a date and agreed on a price, everything else runs pretty smoothly. You're quickly connected, and a video chat window pops up.
Through this window you can see your partner, plus a text chat interface if you don't have a microphone and are adept at one-handed typing. I'm not, so my first interaction, in which I couldn't make my bloody laptop microphone work, was perhaps less than scintillating for the girl on the other end.
There's also a hilarious series of buttons to show the girl what stage of excitement you're at. Beside these, there's a few other basic instruction buttons you can hit if you're lost for words.
In terms of the actual sex part, the Realtouch Interactive system is no less than astonishing. The girls need nothing more than a webcam, a set of fancy undies and a dildo-shaped Realtouch "wand" to ply their trade. The wand uses the same capacitive touch technology you'd find in the screen of your smartphone – so when the model strokes her wand it's more or less making a "swipe" motion on both sides of the device that's transferred to your own device in real time.
Towards the base of the wand is an extra sensor – and if the girl hits that bit by going deep, you can feel the orifice squeezing in on your end. Lube and heat remain pretty constant and aren't controlled by the girls.
I'm here to tell you, if the Realtouch encoded porn we talked about in Part 1 was good, it's nothing compared to an actual human operator. The transmission of touch data is instant, and the effect of watching what the girl's doing to you on the screen is amazing. They're very much in control of you, and some of them take great delight in that fact. Part of the genius of the thing is that it's so damn simple to use. The girls can pretty much treat it like they're working with a disembodied boner and it will feel absolutely superb.
Now, I've never used a cam girl service before, so I can't really say how the Realtouch Interactive service compares to a regular sex chat using my own built-in "handware" to do the dirty work. But I can tell you it's a pretty amazing experience to have a girl halfway around the globe be able to have such complete control over your genitals.
The system itself worked admirably with very few glitches for me, except for once or twice when the video paused its stream, leaving the audio and realtouch data streams going. You know what it's like when you're on a Skype chat and the video stream slows down, and then goes double speed to catch back up? It's absolutely hysterical to watch a girl lying there trying to look sexy while plundering her own booty in double speed – but the last thing you want to do is burst out laughing and ruin the mood.
Prices for the Realtouch Interactive service appear to be totally up to the girls' discretion. They take 50 percent, the site takes 50 percent. As such they vary wildly, from as low as US$25 for a "quickie" session to upwards of $500 for people who want to spend a whole day with their willies plugged into their computers. The average seems to be around $50-80 for a 10-15 minute session, and if you go in there with a pre-stoked erection, that's more than enough time.
If, however, the fiddly effort of getting the Realtouch out of the cupboard where the kids won't find it, setting it up, finding the right girl and negotiating the terms of your date leave you somewhat deflated when you finally get connected, you can find yourself wasting valuable minutes trying to whack up enough of a mongrel to get what you paid for. This happened to me once – you'll be happy to know my buddha-like meditative focus skills got me to the finish line just in time and the lady on the other end was none the wiser – but I made sure to go in with a loaded gun on subsequent attempts, and had a much more enjoyable (and less frantic) time as a result.
You need to budget a fair bit of alone time to get a good Realtouch Interactive session in. Five or ten minutes to get your gear out, connect everything, warm it up and set up the date, then 10 or 20 minutes for the date itself, during which you'd better be damn sure you're not going to have any visitors. And afterwards, you need some time to get your wobbly legs back underneath you, give the girl some feedback, clean yourself and the device up and put it away again. You can easily burn 30 minutes.
So it's much more time intensive than your average tug, but then, so, in general, is actual sex. And when you give somebody else control, you're in for an incredible experience if they know what they're doing. For me, I think it'll be a "sometimes" treat going forward… For when I really want to pamper my penis. Because he's worth it.
The future of Realtouch
In all the time I spent plugged into this machine, one thought kept running through my head. Actually two thoughts, the other being "WOW." This is Realtouch's very first device. The cam girls' wand is the second. It all works so well that it's already one of the more amazing technological experiences I've had, but imagine what they're going to do in the future!
Sometime soon, Realtouch is going to release some sort of couples package – a commercial version of the cam girl wand and a communication platform that would let couples that spend time apart enjoy the intimate communication the Realtouch devices can do so much better than anything else. That's going to be a killer product – as much fun as it is to interact with random cam girls, it'll be a vastly more powerful experience in the context of a loving relationship and with no clock ticking.
Realtouch has, in fact, already identified one group of long-distance lovers the company would like to provide with early access to the couples system – men deployed on military tours with wives back home in America.
What's in it for the girls? I asked Realtouch's Director of Sales and Marketing, Scott Rinaldo, if there was likely to be any moving parts included for the ladies when the couple kit becomes a reality. "There's so many products out there that please women," he replied, "We've had thousands of hours in think tanks just sitting around talking about what we can do for women. Sometimes at the end of the day, we find that women find their own ways to get themselves off. I know when I'm having sex with my wife, there's not a lot that I can do to get her off like a good vibrator can.
"This device is designed for a woman to send signals to her man, so that he can be pleased by her – not by someone else, not by porn, not by webcam girls or strip clubs. It's really gonna be a way for people that are apart from one another to strengthen things."
Could sex toys be just the beginning here?
During my discussions with Realtouch, we also touched on another side of the business that could end up making the sex toy side of Realtouch almost an afterthought.
It turns out that the company would have loved to build its video chat plus Realtouch control system on top of a service like Skype that already has video and audio chat sorted out, but nobody, including Skype, was able to offer a chat protocol that was capable of transmitting video, audio AND a third stream of data that needed to be synchronized. So the Realtouch development team rolled up its sleeves and built its own communication platform from scratch.
In the process, they have submitted patents around the idea of synchronized audio, video and data communications. Which means that sometime in the future, when robot-enabled remote surgery becomes a reality, for example, the RoboSurgeon 3000 may well need to use Realtouch IP in order to let a Swiss surgeon operate on a patient in America.
Furthermore, the company has made it pretty difficult for competitors to develop competing products in the teledildonics field, because as cool as it is to be able to remotely control somebody else's sex toy, it's vastly more intimate when there's somebody on screen with you through the process. A few girls have told me in the past that the brain is the biggest sex organ in the body … I always thought they were insulting my fruit basket, but as it turns out they may be right.
In my series of meetings with Realtouch Interactive girls, some were simple, wholesome, honest good fun. Others left me feeling cheap and dirty, and one left me stunned and speechless, with a sense of childlike wonder. This range of emotions pretty much matches how I remember it was being on the dating scene all those years ago, including some slight elements of frustration. And if that's not a technological triumph, I don't know what is.
The Realtouch device costs US$200. Sure, it sounds expensive, but you and I have both spent way more on other gadgets that did nothing at all to stroke, squeeze and gently warm our genitals. Think about THAT for a minute.
Product page: Realtouch Interactive (Warning: Adult content and NSFW, of course!)