How did you first become interested in the topic of sleep tech?
It was last year, I was talking with a friend who lives in Chile and we lamented that with the pandemic it was becoming quite difficult to sleep with people because of the restrictions. We speculated about a possible app that could replicate the act of sleeping with someone, the very intimate act of sleeping that in many cases generates a stronger bond than sex. It was a cute exercise but also quite sad since we were acknowledging how painful was to be distant. Months later, Alice Stewart who’s a genius of sex tech, invited me to present at the Sex Tech Hackathon organized by Creative Coding Utrecht, she knew about my work on technology and the supernatural at Digital Witchcraft and together we could establish a connection between my interest in the otherworldly and sex.
Why do you think sleep-specific technology is often overlooked in the sex tech industry?
Because as far as I know the sex tech industry is centered around intercourse, to be honest I’m very ignorant about the sex tech industry so maybe there’s more sophisticated developments, but when we were speculating about this sleep together app with my friend we immediately separated our aim from approaches that felt very literal such as having a doll with human forms, we saw it very clearly that the intimate act of sleeping differed a lot from mainstream approaches to sex you see in porn, music and movies
What are some of the trends that you noticed while researching different sleep tech products? Do you have any predictions for the future?
Most of the stuff I found was oriented to paranoid couples, like the mattress that sends a notification if someone who is not you is having sex, and several testimonies of people who used video calls to ensure that the partner was sleeping in the hotel, also found some apps that registered heartbeats and sleeping patterns and they were also designed with this tracking mindset that to me feels very controlling.
A large focus of your presentation was on transcendence. Can you tell me more about what this means and why it’s important?