Note: This post originally appeared on

When writing software for hobby projects, there's a tendency to go "Oh, I want to learn [thing]" and add that to the stack of things required to build the project. So far, buttplug has been no exception.

Using Rust to build the desktop version was a great start for that. While Rust is a fantastic language that's really coming into its own, and provides great facilities for safe programming (something that doesn't happen in sex toys much if ever), the library ecosystem leaves a bit to be desired. There's not much in the way of GUI or hardware access libraries, and things like Bluetooth 4 libraries are basically non-existant (I realize blurz exists, but it's linux/dbus only). Instead of just writing libraries to support the toy hardware, I decided to try and fill things in, writing a simple systray application library, which I'll then just use for status and opening a browser based GUI.

Hardware is still a problem, though. Serial and USB Sex Toys shouldn't be too difficult to deal with, as there's already serial and libusb bindings for rust. Unfortunately, most sex toys these days are Bluetooth 4/BLE, so serial and USB only get me support for legacy toys. I haven't been able to find libraries in ANY language that handle full Windows 10/macOS/Linux BLE. node.js's noble comes close, but still doesn't work with Win10 UWP bluetooth APIs (though that support will be coming in with the noble-uwp repo the Creator's update next month). There's more info on desktop bluetooth in this article I wrote on the subject last year.

Speaking of noble and node.js, at some point I decided one of the [things] I need to learn was node. I've been developing hardware access libraries in 3 languages:

  • Python: For proof of concept work, as this is the language I work fastest in
  • Rust: For buttplug application work
  • Javascript: To both learn node and WebBluetooth, meaning that for browsers supports WebBluetooth, no software has to be downloaded.

Then there's the toys themselves. I've been picking up a bunch of new toys lately, including the Vorze Interactive and Fleshlight Launch. Getting new toys means:

  • Reverse engineering the toy
  • Writing documentation
  • Taking pictures
  • Adding a page
  • Writing libraries
  • THEN trying to figure out integration with the buttplug application framework

Needless to say, I haven't made it very far into development of the actual Buttplug application yet.

To remedy this, I'm trying to give myself a good first goal for release. Coming up with these goals has been driven off conversations with my patreon funders and members of communities like the RealTouchScripts Forum, as well as assessing how I want to use what I've learned so far. The problem being that buttplug in itself is more of a development platform and less of an end-user application. That means adding yet another project to the pile, that will exercise the applications and the libraries in a way that's interesting to both me and users.

With that in mind, I've created a repository for something I'm calling SyncyDink. There's a trend these days of make web-based video players for toys, since it's fairly easy to throw together a GUI and play videos in HTML, and get the timing information out of them via javascript and requestAnimationFrame updates. However, every player uses a different format for their specific toy. Making a single player that can take the formats and send them to the Buttplug application (or just straight thru to WebBluetooth for platforms and toys that support it) seems like a good goal for QA'ing things. There's already a TON of haptics-encoded content out there, as well as people familiar with using it.

... But also it means I get to play with WebVR for 180 SBS videos.

See? I keep shaving, and the yaks keep coming out of the factory.

Expect Buttplug and SyncyDink to be released sometime near the heat death of the universe.