Could Smart Underwear Be The Cure for Loneliness?

2 min read

A long distance relationship in college had Li Lingxiao feeling that despite copious messages, stickers and video chats with his girlfriend each day,  something was still missing. 

Without the sense of touch, everything else fell short of getting an intimate message across. That was when his idea for smart, or to paraphrase – vibrating, underwear was hatched.

cueme3

Now, three years later, he’s finally ready to unveil Cueme, the haptic undergarments that allow you to be “touched”, when you’re apart, and want a more tactile feeling of being together.

Paired with the Cueme app, couples can activate the vibrating nodes on pair of underpants or bra halfway across the world by tapping each of the corresponding spots on a smartphone screen.  You can even program a signature  set of “moves” for yourself or significant other when you really want to get someone’s attention.

More pragmatic needs are also answered. The “massage yourself” function can do much for those who want to bump up their cup size, purports Li, saying the nodes are aligned with acupuncture pressure points. However, these crazy function are best tried at home, as buzzing from genital areas in quiet libraries and offices generally draws strange looks.

It’s not exactly a fresh concept, but Li and his Shenzhen based startup Cueme are taking the product beyond the conceptual stage, making it available at the consumer level. This is something half baked crowd pleasers like Durex’s Fundawear and Victoria’s Secret’s Incredible sports bra have yet to do, despite a viral video campaign and expectant applause all around, Fundawear remains a prototype, while the page for the Victoria’s Secret’s vitals-tracking bra has been removed.

wechatimg7The technology behind it is simple enough: a matchbox sized bluetooth device, which doubles as a battery,  links the actuators in the underwear with the smartphone. The phone then is able to control Cueme products that are online.

The real challenge was designing electronic components that were lightweight, power efficient, and could be neatly embedded without being destroyed by the heat and pressure it takes to mold a bra cup in the manufacturing process.

wechatimg6Though the idea was to make long distance relationships more bearable, the company now wants to extrapolate and turn the undergarments into more of a social gadget. They see the app as a Tinder or Momo of sorts where buzzing is the new way of saying ‘How you doin’’. 

“When you meet a stranger online, you run out of topics fast, and often it’s really awkward to make a move and ask them out. If you can introduce yourself in a different way, never fear again for lack of ice breakers,” says Li.

He’s quite optimistic for a entrepreneur who’s just about to deliver his first 12,000 pieces through JD’s crowdfunding platform. He has confidence that in a few years, this type of interaction could be replacing WeChat.

Founder Li Lingxiao

Image Credit: Cueme