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Revel Body's Orb device

Seattle has a rich history of using sonic technology to improve one’s health, from the Clarisonic skin device to the Sonicare toothbrush. Now, can those same sonic pulses transform the sex toy industry?

A new startup company by the name of Revel Body just scored $825,000 from “prominent angels in Seattle,” money that it will use to develop high-performance vibration motors.

Code-named the Orb, the device was inspired by the Sonicare toothbrush and is designed to provide more powerful vibration for better stimulation.

Founder Robin Elenga said the goal is to develop a new line of consumer devices based on the motors, which in addition to providing more vibration power also offers 66 percent less noise than traditional rotary-based motors. Revel Body hopes to have its first devices on the market later this year, Elenga said.

“Our sonic vibration motors provide a significantly broader range of vibration and significantly more power; this translates into better control and satisfaction for users,” according to an executive summary. “They also address user complaints by creating a fraction of the noise of existing motors (noise is very distracting for users), use substantially less power (allowing us to use smaller batteries and build more ergonomic devices), and are significantly more reliable, as well as having other benefits.”

Elenga said there’s been “a lot of interest” in the motors from vibrator makers, but the company is not yet ready to start marketing the device. Revel Body just received its first patent for an adjustable resonating motor, a technology that Elenga says is important since it allows users to vary the speed and power of the device.

The idea actually originated years ago after Elenga spoke to workers at Sonicare toothbrush maker Optiva. Employees joked about the number of customer inquiries from those who were using the device for purposes other than to brush their teeth.

“There were a lot of consumers calling Sonicare saying they were using it as a sexual vibrator, and that kind of made me wonder why would people be using that vibrator,” said Elenga. “It was just this idea that if vibration is better beyond what the existing motors can do, we should try to help it.”

From those discussions, Revel Body was born. Elenga said he had no real prior interest in the $3 billion sex toy industry, but simply thought that new technology was needed.

“Everybody in the industry is using the same motor, so the original idea was to find this sweet spot of vibration beyond what the existing motors could do,” said Elenga, a Washington State University finance grad who worked at Deloitte Consulting in the late 1990s before going on to become an entrepreneur. “So, I built motors that operated in different frequencies and tested it.”

The new cash infusion will be used to complete the design of product and initial marketing efforts. Pricing has not yet been set.

The three-person company says that it is creating a device with “Apple-like industrial design,” including “intuitive controls, ergonomic form factors, quality materials, and strong branding.” In terms of the company’s licensing program, Revel Body draws comparisons to Intel’s very own “Intel Inside” marketing campaign.

Revel Body isn’t the only company looking to transform the sex toy industry. In 2010, prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalists Phil Schlein and Tim Draper bankrolled vibrator maker JimmyJane.

So, let the sex toy smack talk now commence between Seattle and Silicon Valley.

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