It's the need for companionship rather than sex that Henry's makers are banking on: "Women have the same issues of loneliness as men," Realbotix ceo Matt McMullen told the Daily Mail. In 2017, his company launched Harmony, Henry's artificially intelligent female counterpart. "People call [our products] sex dolls, but mostly it’s about companionship," McMullen said. "In this world of computers, people are missing out on human interaction."
Once available, Henry will cost anywhere from £8,000 to £11,000 (that's $11,000 to $15,000), depending on how you customize him. It's a steep price to pay, but there seems to be a market for what Henry promises. Last year, The Guardian reported that Abyss Creations (the parent company of RealDoll and Realbotix) ships up to 600 dolls a year. And artificial intelligence researcher David Levy told the Daily Star that bots like Henry may surpass more traditional sex toys in popularity: "I’m sure women will find robots equally appealing as men," he said. "If women are that interested in getting satisfaction from a vibrator, imagine how the same women will feel having a robot they can put their arms [around] them and having the robot squeeze them." Of course, it's up to Henry's target market to decide whether automated intimacy is their cup of tea.
And in case you were wondering what Henry's female counterpart is like, here's Harmony...