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在线翻译:
szdaily -> People
engineer to sell gadget that improves sex life
     2015-February-27  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    Tan Yifan

    cicitan2011@gmail.com

    TWO months ago, when local electronic engineer Wei Mingming stood on stage presenting his idea of making a smart band to improve males’ sex lives to hundreds of audience members, he received more ridicule than support. Different from other IT products, Wei’s proposal requires an intimate knowledge of human engineering and medical science, plus a mature production line. Though he was a resourceful young engineer with a big idea, most shrugged him off, treating him as grandstander. Only two people in the crowd volunteered to team up with him.

    Fast forward six weeks, Wei, now the CEO of a tech company with 2 million yuan (US$320,000) in registered capital, is working with his team to launch his smart band’s crowd-funding project on jd.com, the second largest Chinese e-commerce platform.

    “We plan to start a pre-sale of the product as a way to crowd fund,” Wei said. “The price of each smart band will be around 399 yuan (US$63.8), and if they sell well, it will bring us proceeds of over 3 million yuan.”

    Wei said after the two co-founders joined him, they quickly set out to turn the idea into a reality. Now he works with four co-founders, spending day and night to upgrade their “PC muscle-exercising smart band,” which is made of edible silica gel with a 20-mm-wide and 40-mm-long band, a small oval container for its chip and an app that can connect the band with phones through bluetooth.

    “There must be a huge market for the smart band,” Wei said with confidence. “Somebody should be educating people about how to get more pleasure from sex.”

    PC muscle exercise addict

    Born in 1986, Wei said he has exercised his PC muscle for several years.

    The PC, or pubococcygeus muscle, is a hammock-like muscle found in both sexes that stretches from the pubic bone to the tail bone, forming the floor of the pelvic cavity and supporting the pelvic organs.

    To Wei, the PC muscle is crucial to a man’s sex life. A strong PC muscle can make a man last longer and derive more pleasure from sex.

    “But exercising the PC muscle is very boring. A person has to make the same movement hundreds of times and it’s easy to get discouraged,” Wei said. “So I wanted to make a change and the idea of developing a smart band popped out in my mind.”

    Wei said his exercise theory is borrowed from the Kegel Exercise, which originally was proposed to help women recover from delivery. He also learned some similar approaches from ancient Chinese books and took advice from his doctor friend.

    So when he pictured the prototype of his smart band in his head, he decided to join a big startup event in the city last November.

    He presented his idea at the Startup Weekend Shenzhen chapter and shared with people the role that the PC muscle plays in sex and the changes his smart band can bring. His presentation at the final night of the 54-hour-event won the first prize.

    Tech addict

    A graduate of Taiyuan University of Science and Technology, Wei said he once designed laptops, cell phones and holographic projectors.

    With his knowledge of electronics, he said it didn’t take him long to make the core chip for his gadget.

    He shared a finished chip on his WeChat moments in December and said he was satisfied with the round-shaped chip, which is smaller than a 50-cent RMB coin.

    “Making the chip is the most important process for the smart band and it takes the longest amount of time,” Wei said. “I have made several trial versions and finally it’s done.”

    Wei said his team had learned a lot and they invited other people to join and solve some technical problems.

    “We adopted a technology of passing information about muscles to machines. Also, we invited a friend to design the look of the smart band to make it attractive and comfortable for users,” Wei said.

    Wei said his interest was in making technological breakthroughs and his team will invite more people to take care of operating the business.

    So far his team has applied for two national technical patents and Wei believes that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    “It is just the first generation of our product,” Wei said while looking at the draft of their design. “We will continue to update it and develop more features.”

    Wei said they plan to add a game to their app so that it will add more fun for users.

    A new phenomenon

    When Wei and his co-founders stood on the stage of Startup Weekend’s Shenzhen chapter last November, a guest investor said to them that their promotion strategy may undermine the sales of their product, as most men would be unwilling to buy a product that implies they are incapable of having quality sex.

    Wei didn’t refute the investor; instead, he continues to speak in public, making some men blush and women laugh with embarrassment.

    He said that in seven large Chinese cities like Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, statistics compiled by Taobao.com show that of 25 million men aged between 20 and 50, 30 percent admitted to having a sexual dysfunction. “So by my estimation, among 190 million Chinese men in that age range, there are 50 million of them who would be interested in buying our product,” he said.

    Like Wei, more Chinese young men tend to take the treatment as a positive way to improve their quality of life rather than an awkward topic that their fathers refuse to talk about.

    Besides adjusting their attitudes towards sex, more people today have decided to follow Wei and his peers to make startup businesses.

    “It’s a good time to devote yourself to establishing a business,” Wei said. “Shenzhen is an ideal place for people like us. Here we can find not only talented people with various resources and skills, but also raw materials and factories, plus a huge market for our inventions.”

    Wei said they plan to make 10,000 of the smart bands in April and that they are looking for volunteers to test them and give feedback.

    “There are many uncertainties in the future, but we are well-prepared,” he said.

    Wei’s goal is to create a company that not only focuses on sex gadgets, but other exercise-related smart products as well.

    He said he loves to do things that can foster happiness and hopes to get married to his girlfriend soon.

    “Somebody should be educating people about how to get more pleasure from sex.”

    — Wei Mingming

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