Now this story on Roxxxy peaked my interest -- from a communication perspective, of course. Robotic girlfriends have been around for a long time in some form or another. And, as in every other area, technology has improved the experience, so I have read. But apparently the physical experience is not enough and communication is a desired feature. Douglas Hines' original 1993 invention Trudy, lacked personality.
According to John Murrell's Good Morning Silicon Valley email newsletter:
"Roxxxy still can't move without assistance, but she offers what Trudy lacked and customers apparently wanted — conversational skills. "Sex only goes so far — then you want to be able to talk to the person," Hines said. Equipped with sensors and an attached laptop, "she's a companion," he said. "She has a personality. She hears you. She listens to you. She speaks. She feels your touch. She goes to sleep. We are trying to replicate a personality of a person." "
So I get that communication is a critical part of intimacy with another human, but I am having a hard time with the concept of communication contributing to the experience with a sex doll. But, Hines is being responsive to customer demand, and apparently the ability to communicate is desired. And, when you order the robot online, you fill out a survey that allows Roxxxy's personality to be personalized to match your likes and dislikes. The cost for this conversational doll ranges from $7-9K.