Can Tech Be Gross? You Bet

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Sometime around the end of the 1990s, gross-out humor reared its head once again in American culture. You remember--in movies like Something about Mary (1998) and American Pie (1999). Well, as it turns out, the laff riot continues, the kids love it, and gross-out culture has made its way into various aspects of technology. We identify some the juiciest examples we could find here.

Gross iPhone Apps Explosion

One of countless iPhone apps with a bodily function theme.
The most notable flare-up lately has been in the Apple iPhone app store, which currently sells at least 50 flatulence or flatulence-related apps. In just one day last December, Apple approved 14 such apps.

To kick off the examples, you have Pull My Finger (actually there are two separate "Pull My Finger" apps). Then there's FartBox, Who Farted?, WhoopieCushion, Mr. Poot!, iToot, Fart Button, Fart for Free, Wet Fart, iFart, iFartz, EasyFart, Fart Keyboard, or my personal favorite, Fart of the Bumblebee. It goes on and on.

And people love them. iFart Mobile is currently number eight on the Top Paid Apps list at the store. On Christmas Day alone, 38,927 people purchased iFart Mobile. And Atomic Fart is number six on the free apps list.

The Zit Picker iPhone app.
You can find numerous other iPhone apps based on an assortment of rude bodily functions and fluids. Take iVomit and Zit Picker, Hiccy-Burp, and Burp Box--please.

Another iPhone app, called iLick, was less successful in attempt to make it through Apple's vetting process for inclusion in the store. As far as I can tell, the whole point of iLick is to move various shapes--such as lips and lollypops--around the screen of your iPhone with your tongue. Now I'm no clean freak, but that screen must be a Petri dish for all kinds of germs and microbes and other septic stuff in the environment--including everything collected by your finger tips--which makes the idea of a touch-tongue phone just gross. But if you dig catching colds and flu, you go right ahead.

Sex Plus Tech Can Equal Gross

Other technologies integrate sex for gross results. Though there's nothing inherently gross about sex, things can start to get weird when technology gets involved. Example: Two separate companies are marketing accessories that plug into your iPhone or iPod at one end, and into a sexual place on your body at the other end. The result: Vibrators that throb to the beat of your music player.

iGasm promo graphic.
The first of these items to make the scene (back in 2007) was the iGasm from the British sexual aid company Ann Summers. We gave the company props for the clever name, and props for the clever ads, which simply duplicated Apple's immediately recognizable ads with the silhouetted model and white iPhone cords, only the Ann Summers version shows one white cable heading down into the model's underwear. Apple's attorneys didn't see the humor in it, at least not in public.

More recently a company named Suki, LLC has joined the party with a similar product called OhMiBod, but here's the best part: Suki also sells a product called Boditalk, which is an, uh, insert, "activated by calls made to or from your cell phone when in close range," as the company's site describes it. The "unique 3-pattern vibrating sequence" continues for the duration of the call. Buy one of these and you'll have to re-up your calling plan.

OIOO's silicon attachments.
A small German company, OIOO, has made sexual appliances whose vibrations are caused by the remote controls of the popular Wii gaming system. In fact the "antiallergenic Medizin Silicon" pieces, available in both 'his' and 'hers' designs, slide onto the end of a Wii game controller (cagily identified on the OIOO Web site simply as "a well known remote"). There's some kind of software app, too, but the OIOO site is a little vague on how that works.

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