XR Porn – Sex Tech Review Of The Year 2018 Part 2

By | January 21, 2019

Virtual Reality Porn – An Industry Still In The Balance

Expectations for the growth of VR porn were much more muted in 2018 than they had been in 2017. After a crazy Xmas period in the winter of 2016, it seems like virtual reality was indeed the immediate future of porn. Unfortunately, the subsequent trajectory of growth (or lack thereof) indicates that many or most of people buying the early VR headsets that year were wanting to get their hands on VR porn. Now VR porn sites are having to try to convince new VR headset owners to try porn in the new medium. And of course, the VR headset market itself hasn’t grown nearly as much as everybody had hoped or even anticipated. Even the much heralded Oculus Go – the first stand alone headset not requiring either to be tethered to a PC or have a smartphone inserted – has failed to kickstart notable interest in VR porn.

graph showing lack of VR porn growth

Google Trends graph showing decline in interest in VR porn.

Consequently, 2018 was a year at best for consolidation. Technical standards did continue to rise. VirtualRealPorn became the first site to film in 5K, with VRBangers soon going one better and shooting in 6K. However, real innovation was lacking, and furthermore, a few sites even began to stop producing new content. That Naughty America VR hasn’t paid most of its affiliates for months, suggests that the VR porn gamble has backfired for at least some. However, new VR pay sites are still appearing, including sites devoted to particular fetishes, such as VirtualPee.

Slow Growth Of VR Porn Might Be A Good Thing

While it’s natural to be disappointed with the slow trajectory of VR porn, in the long term, it might not be such a bad thing. As we saw with sex bots (Sex Tech Review Part 1), there is a real danger when a new future sex tech becomes overhyped that it will create fear and panic, and possible kneejerk legislation before society has a real chance to appraise and absorb the new technology.

It seems that VR porn has survived the wave of hype of 2016 in terms of the moral panics that were beginning to form around it, and now looks set to creep up under the radar, if you like, over many years into mainstream acceptance.

If VR porn takes another ten years to really take off, it might be a good thing in another way. Up to now, the VR porn industry has been dominated by professional porn producers, with a history in regular 2D porn, and who have been for the most part, simply shooting recorded video in 3D VR. Of course, within these boundaries, there has been a lot of imagination and innovation from the best VR sites, but perhaps we need a few years where the development of the medium is equally put into the hands of amateurs and independents, and in particular the making use of digital platforms such as Virt-A-Mate, which I have covered here a few times in the past, and which is increasingly looking to be very exciting indeed.

Cautious Hope For Optimism In 2019

There is still the possibility that VR might find its ‘killer app’ and VR headset shipments increase radically almost overnight. This is more likely as headsets become cheaper, lighter, and more portable, with neither the need for a smartphone or a PC. The Oculus Quest, to be released as early as April this year, is essentially a much more powerful version of the Oculus Go, and importantly with 6DoF, meaning it can track not only the head, but the entire body. This may well spur VR porn to move more in the direction of digital animation, which would tune in nicely with the possible growth of AR porn in the coming years.

Augmented Reality Porn Is Now A Real Thing…Sort Of

While VR hype declined, its sister – augmented reality – seemed to set to have its turn. After the amazing success of Pokeman Go, and the latest iPhone being equipped with AR features (as well as high end Android phones), 2018 was expected to be the year when the AR market would explode almost overnight. Again, it hasn’t happened like that, even with the long awaited release of the fabled Magic Leap AR headset (developers kit, launched to a very unimpressed public). Despite this, there has been some progress in AR porn. Augmented reality is much more difficult task to produce and/or film than VR. With video VR porn, at least, all you need is a VR camera, and it will play in immersive 3D with motion tracking, in a VR headset. But AR is a completely different ballgame, whether using recorded real actors/actresses or completely digitally generated. This is because it needs to be placed inside the viewer’s surroundings.

Despite this, there are now several porn sites offering at least ‘demos’ of adult augmented reality. AR Conk (already with a VR porn site) became the first real AR porn site, although still only offering demos to registered users. Naughty America, a pioneer of both VR and 4K porn, managed to showcase what it describes as finished AR porn at this month’s Consumer Electronics Show. Despite Naughty America apparently being close to bankruptcy, their AR porn was generated by volumetric capture of live pornstars, whose moving images can be inserted into the viewer’s surroundings via an AR equipped Android smartphone. You have to pay to join Naughty America in order to access their ‘AR girls’, so it seems they can at least claim the title of being the first true augmented reality porn (pay) site.

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