Hold the Phone, It's a Sex Toy
By Leander Kahney
02:00 AM Apr. 12, 2003 PT
Giving new meaning to the term phone sex, a British company is selling software that transforms a cell phone into a sex toy.
Vibelet.com's Purring Kitty software, launched last week, turns certain Nokia cell phones with vibrating ring capabilities into a "discrete,
"Its tender purring vibrations provide perfect company on even the loneliest winter nights!" champions the website.
"No, it's not a joke," said the developer, who asked to be known as "Zoe Walsh" rather than his real name. "That's one of our biggest problems,
in fact. We had to delay the launch date to avoid April 1. It's a joke product, but it definitely works."
The software, which costs UKGP 1.50 (about $2.35), is downloaded straight to the phone via a WAP link. Once installed, it has just two controls: Start
and Pause. While running, an image of a contented cat is displayed on the phone's screen.
Walsh, the 25-year-old co-founder of what he described as a "pretty well-known" mobile-phone game publisher, which he didn't want associated with
the Purring Kitty spinoff, conducted most of his market research at his pub.
"The reaction has been pretty good," Walsh said. "There's a clear 50/50 split. Half the girls know immediately what it's about. The other half
look at the kitty and say, 'Aw, that's cute, but why is it vibrating?' Then the penny drops."
Walsh said word of the software is starting to spread and it has already been downloaded a few dozen times without any advertising. He knew of only
one instance of it being used for its intended purpose.
"This girl in the pub grabbed my phone, put it down her front pocket and wouldn't give it back to me until the batteries had run down," Walsh said.
"It's the only confirmed use I know of. She had a very pleasant time."