There I was with all this buzzing underwear all over my dining room table… not the way I normally spend my afternoons! I was entertaining people from Durex – the world’s largest condom manufacturer – who were showing off their latest invention. It’s an amazing new system that allows you to use a smartphone app to turn on your lover’s knickers – and hopefully your lover as well.

So far what they’ve come up with is prototype technology which Durex claims allows “physical touch to be transferred wirelessly between couples”. What actually happens is couples wear Fundawear – boxers for him and knickers and bra for her – fitted out with a series of mini-vibrators. By using the touch screen on their smart phone app they send signals through via the internet from one phone to another, which sets off the vibrations. What’s particularly clever is the speed and sequence of the stimulation can be controlled by pushing the right buttons on the touch screen. Upstairs? Downstairs? Faster or slower. Whatever your lover prefers. Not bad eh? Sending an erotic tickle via a cloud, across a city, across the world.

This is actually a home grown invention. Jay Morgan, the digital creative director who guided the project, describes the startled reactions as he traipsed from one Australian biomimicry lab to another, talking to scientists who study how muscles and touch receptors work to try to find the right technology to mimic sensuous touch. “They thought we were onto an awesome idea but it wasn’t easy to come up with something that hit just the right spot.” Or spots. Morgan admits he might not have these positioned in quite the right places, given individual quirks in what turns people on. But to leaving out the nipple zone in at the centre of women’s bras seems a very strange omission.

Not to worry – the project is still in the planning stage with only a few samples currently available to test public reaction. These feature matching his-and-hers boxed sets of underwear, an expensive proposition. Price? It’s all up in the air at the moment with full-scale production probably years off but Morgan imagines they won’t come in for less than$200.

“Did I want to try them on?” asked the Durex people eagerly as I felt the buzzing black and purple-lace garments. No thanks, was my cowardly reply. (Well, certainly not with an audience.) The girl in their promotional video ( looks like she was having fun. The Bondi couple were filmed in separate locations, talking on skype as they send sexy “touches” across the city and watch each other’s reaction. “I’m finding it hard to talk,” murmurs the girl at the end. That’s not surprising.

“The future of foreplay is in Fundawear,” trumpets the advertising for this new product. Well, hardly. But it is a fun idea and a very cute way of reminding couples you need to get in early to light that fire. Women often grumble that they can’t get in the mood last thing at night when his hand comes creeping across the bed. Sex therapists suggest that foreplay should start at breakfast, perhaps with a soft kiss on her neck over the cornflakes and continue with loving, sexy messages and touches through the day. This is a message with a difference.