Saturday, January 30, 2016

Is there a porn app for that?

Ever since the launch of the first video cassette recorders, the adult entertainment industry has stayed on the cutting edge of consumer technology.
The VCR allowed consumers (ok, men) to watch porn at home instead of going to a XXX movie theater or adult bookstore. It created a boom in the porn industry and helped to spur adoption of home video more broadly.
The porn industry also gets credit for jump-starting the commercial Internet by providing a killer app for going online: dirty pictures and videos. And it pioneered in e-commerce by taking online payments.
Earlier this month in Las Vegas at the CES trade show, still known to many by its old name the Consumer Electronics Show, virtual reality was a huge topic of interest. Commercial headsets from Samsung, Oculus, Sony and HTC are just starting to hit the market.
While Hollywood tries to decide what kind of content to make for VR goggles, at least one major adult studio, Naughty America, is already making VR porn. It was at CES demonstrating its VR offerings at a hotel near the convention.
It’s a running joke in the consumer electronics industry that when a new technology emerges the porn industry will be one of the early adopters. New technology? What’s the porn app for that?
That was the case with high-definition video, 3D video and now 4K ultra high definition video. It also was true with apps and online video streaming for smartphones and tablets.
Late-night TBS talk-show “Conan” even made fun of the pornification of technology in a comedy sketch. In a parody of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” the judges are only interested in whether they can have sex with the product.
For a history of how adult entertainment has shaped the technology industry and vice versa, check out “5 Ways Porn Created the Modern World” by Cracked, “8 Ways Porn Influenced Technology” by Thrillist, and “In the tech world, porn quietly leads the way” by CNN.
Let’s look at some recent technologies and see if there are porn applications for them.

Virtual reality

Before the first true virtual-reality goggles even hit the market, adult movie studios were making VR porn for do-it-yourself Google Cardboard smartphone headsets. They ramped up their efforts after Samsung’s smartphone-based, Oculus-powered Gear VR hit the market.
Up next are high-definition virtual reality goggles from Sony, HTC and Facebook-owned Oculus.
Prominent virtual reality porn providers include Naughty America and BaDoink. (See article at Investors.com)

Google Glass

When Google Glass was seen as the next big thing, some porn makers rushed to be the first to shoot video with the smart eyewear. Google Glass provides a small eye-level display and a forward-looking camera.
In July 2013, adult film actors James Deen and Andy San Dimas filmed a point-of-view porn movie using Google Glass for MiKandi and XBiz. (See article by XBiz.)

3D printing

When consumer 3D printers arrived on the scene, people wondered what anyone would want to make with them.
Well, the sex products industry came up with an answer: 3D-printed dildos and other sex toys.
(See article by XBiz.)

Drones

When small unmanned aerial systems, aka drones, started to become popular as flying cameras, Brooklyn film studio Ghost + Cow Films shot what it said was the world’s first drone porn. The movie, called “Drone Boning,” was released in November 2014.
(See articles by The Cut and AVN.)

Wearables

Wearable devices like fitness trackers (Fitbit) and smartwatches (Apple Watch) are becoming a big new category of consumer electronics.
Of course, some entrepreneurs see wearable devices as a way to track sexual activity and performance.
Spanish smartphone maker Geeksphone last year came out with a fitness tracker bracelet called GeeksMe, which includes a sex tracker. (See article by TechCrunch.)
And a firm called Lovely launched an unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to make a smart sex toy designed to worn at the base of the penis during sex. It tracks performance and provides additional stimulation through vibration. (See article by the Huffington Post.)

Snapchat

When messaging app Snapchat introduced a feature called Snapcash, porn found an application for it. Snapcash allows people to send money using payments service Square.
“Strippers and porn stars have started to use Snapchat to send videos and photos of themselves naked for a small fee,” New York Times writer Nick Bilton said in a Feb. 25, 2015, article. “Some transactions are as inexpensive as $1 to $5 for a few personalized photos. The prices can reach double digits for personalized sex shows.”
In the world of social media, porn stars also have found a home on Twitter and Tumblr.
And in terms of payments, online porn companies were early adopters of the cryptocurrency bitcoin.

Robotics

Some erotic product companies want to take virtual reality to the next level by adding a physical stimulation component to the visual one.
Masturbatory aid purveyors are making robotic sleeves than that imitate the sensation of oral, vaginal and anal sex for men.
(See articles by XBiz, the Huffington Post, AVN and BuzzFeed.)
Can humanoid sex robots be far behind?

Photos: Promotional art for Naughty America’s VR videos; Conan O’Brien jokes about drone porn.


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