CES organizers apologize, returns award to women’s startup

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The group that organizes the annual CES gadget show has reinstated a prestigious award and apologized to makers of a robotic “personal massager” for women.

An independent panel of judges had selected Lora DiCarlo’s Ose vibrator last fall for a CES 2019 Innovation Honoree Award in the robotics and drone category.

But the Consumer Technology Association disqualified the gadget, telling the company it reserved the right to rescind awards for devices deemed “immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or not in keeping with CTA’s image.”

Lora DiCarlo criticized the decision as sexist. It noted that a sex doll for men was launched at CES in 2018.

The CTA said Wednesday it “did not handle this award properly.” Lora DiCarlo CEO Lara Haddock said the experience shows the need for “meaningful changes” at CES.