Virtual reality adoption accelerating… and porn

We seem to be hitting the inflection point on the old hockey-stick curve when it comes to the adoption of virtual reality technology.

Consider these headlines, from just the past few days.

First, the media-related news, since I’m in the media, and pay more attention to this than pretty much anything else.

Oculus VR Releasing Four Movies Made For Oculus Rift In 2015

Oculus VR announced Monday that it was developing films. The first movie from its Oculus Story Studio is a short one called “Lost,” which stars a robot.

Annapurna Pictures Forms Virtual Reality Division

This the studio that produced “Foxcatcher,” “American Hustle,” “Her” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”  They’re partnering with VRSE, a new virtual-reality focused production company. Which has an app also called VRSE, available for both iOS and Android devices. Use in combination with a cheap Google Cardboard kit. Or upgrade to a Samsung Gear VR headset.

Vice Uses Virtual Reality to Immerse Viewers in News

There is now a virtual reality news channel from Vice News, and you can be transported right into the news events on the VRSE app.

Which brings us to…

Qantas Will Use Samsung Virtual Reality Headsets to Entertain Flyers

According to ABC News, Qantas will begin offering Samsung Gear VR headsets to first-class passengers, providing an immersive virtual reality experience. Beginning in March, first-class passengers with cabin fever on long-haul flights from Sydney or Melbourne to Los Angeles. That’s a very long flight. I can see how a virtual reality headset can help break it up a bit.

Other companies are also looking at using virtual reality. Lots and lots of other companies.

Like…

DC Startup Showcases the Biz Potential of Virtual Reality

Washington, D.C.-based Agora VR is looking to show just how powerful this new wave of virtual reality could be—particularly for businesses — with new software that aims to let users attend seminars, university lectures or business meetings on an Oculus virtual reality headset.

Oculus Rift headset helps nursing students improve communication skills

“We are exploring how this can be used for learning, and have now created a virtual operating room. Today’s specialist nurses and medical students have less and less patient contact because patients are sent home as soon as practicable. As a result, they get less and less training in communicating with patients and with each other. A virtual hospital allows them to train as much as they want,” says Ekaterina Prasolova-Førland, an associate professor in the Learning with ICT program at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Meanwhile, the number of virtual reality confererences is expanding.

UK Based ‘South West VR’ Conference Announced, Guests Include Oculus, Aardman and Unity

The UK South West VR conference will be held on February 24, in Bristol.

But wait, there’s more. There’s SPIE’s Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2015 conference in San Francisco February 8 to 12. The ART Days 2015 AR and VR conference in Murnau, Germany March 5 to 6. The VR 2015 IEEE Virtual Reality conference March 23 to 27 in Arles, France. The 2015 International Conference on Virtual Reality in Los Angeles April 9 to 10. The Augmented World Expo 2015 in Santa Clara, June 8 to 10. The International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation 2015 in Valencia, Spain June 9 to 12. The 17th Human-Computer Interaction conference in Los Angeles August 2 to 7.

Or check out one of the 166 — and growing — Virtual Reality MeetUp Groups.

The porn

But if you really want to see a technology take off, just let the porn industry get its hands on it.

Specifically, there’s a lot of action — ha, ha, action — on the VR video front. This is where actors are filmed with new 3D cameras and the viewer puts on any 3D headset — even a cheap-o Google Cardboard — and feel like they’re right there, in the middle of the porn set.

This is not interactive virtual reality. You just sit there and watch, maybe turn your head to look at stuff — ha, ha, stuff — from different angles. But that also means less processing required of the headset, and less nausea for the viewer.

To see what happens when people watch virtual reality porn for the first time, watch the video below. The really dirty parts are covered up, but you probably don’t want to watch it at work, anyway.

Want to check out some of that virtual reality porn for yourself?

If you have an Oculus Rift, go to Huccio’s Oculus Porn page — definitely not safe for work. The company also has versions for Gear VR and Google Cardboard.

Then there’s the VR Porn Game and Apps Directory — also very much not safe for work!

Want to know how they film this stuff?

The Insane Camera Rig Being Used to Shoot 360-Degree Oculus Porn

Apparently, shooting virtual reality video is really tricky because the camera is shooting in all directions at once — so only the actors can be in the room while it’s filming.

We probably don’t have the bandwidth yet for live virtual reality streaming video. Though now that the thought has occurred to me, it’s probably coming — and a lot of people are going to be yelling at their cable companies to get them gigabit Internet now, goshdarnit.

And interactive virtual reality is likely to stay animated for quite a while, since photo-realistic animation isn’t really there yet. Unless, maybe, you’re director James Cameron.

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • Downunder

    Check your spelling – It’s QANTAS not Quantas 🙂

  • you made me watch porn!! [shakes my finger at you in mock pretense of being to prudish for such things!]

  • Jim Williams

    My opinion of VR matches my opinion of voice chat in Opensim/SL. Uses the wrong part of the brain, and no thank you. When they are actually ready to wire me into the Net I’ll be interested. Until then it is just a stupid fad.

    • I think it’s the wired connectors that will be the fad. I’m holding out for the wireless systems.

      All those people who go and get plugs installed in the back of their heads will look pretty stupid when we get wireless connections.

      That, and Justin Bieber tattoos.

      • Jim Williams

        Not wired connectors, Maria, but actually wired in — a brain in a box.

        • Ewwwwww!

          Although, I do have a plan to live forever, which involves a quantum-computer-powered “exobrain” as a supplement to my original biobrain which takes on more and more work over time and, if the biobrain ever ceases to function, takes over completely. At which point, of course, I’ll be shifting my day-to-day existence entirely into the metaverse.

          • Jim Williams

            I, at least, don’t believe in Birth and Death.

            Yes. We are all waiting for that…in some form. I bet it is in the back of the mind of every single…um…creature…in the Metaverse.

            I’ll tell you about Softwars someday… The reason I cannot write it is because I have no clue on how to make the story something HuMans can relate to.

    • guest

      Right on about the voice chat, but sounds like VR is too cheap and too fun to go away any time soon. It awaits a killer app. VR viewer maybe?

      • Jim Williams

        A matter of what you mean by soon. I think VR will be a sub-genre within Gaming, and not really have that much other use. (I consider porn part of the gaming industry. Prostitution wasn’t so much the oldest profession as the oldest performing art.)

        VR, as such, just isn’t very useful until you are ready to completely ignore the “real” world.

        • Gaming will mostly likely be the first major adoption — just as gaming was the first major adoption for graphical user interfaces.

          Users have a high appetite for new games, and are always ready and willing to buy new hardware for it. Other kinds of entertainment, as well — such as VR movies, and, as you mentioned, porn — fall into this category as well.

          Socialization is a little harder sell — most people will join only when they see their friends joining first, which creates a chicken-and-egg problem that is difficult for new social platforms to overcome. It’s not enough to just have a better product – you also have to have a very strategic marketing strategy. (The Social Network movie is an interesting look at how Facebook did it.)

          Business and educational applications are a harder sell still. They have long budget cycles, they run pilot projects first, and, before that, they want to see successful case studies.

          So while we’re already seeing some enterprise use — for rapid prototyping, training, collaboration, virtual tours and test drives, marketing, etc… — the adoption curve will be slower than for personal, gaming, and entertainment use.

  • Mircea Kitsune

    I never really considered the Oculus an asset for movies and news, just 3D rendering. I can see how it will make video better as well though. As with game engines however, I don’t believe anyone should be making “movies for the Oculus rift”, but simply “movies with stereoscopic rendering which work on devices like the Oculus rift”… which is the generic implementation debate I often bring up.

    As for the porn aspect, it’s funny that the first thing coming to mind is how some people who will get offended that porn also exists for the OR now. The reactions this will probably stir up makes me smile, knowing how childishly sensitive some large websites (Facebook likely included) still tend to be when it comes to NSFW stuff.

    • Jim Williams

      People looking for reasons to be offended will always be able to find them.

      I’d almost given up on movies by the time I first found SL (2007ish). I’m sure that industry will try to make VR seem like their idea. At the same time, we will be worrying about how to make avies which include multiple typists.

  • TribeGadgets

    I’m surprised it took so long really. And as for the huge data quantity produced – not honest was my only interest 🙂

  • Another bit of VR porn news: Utherverse revealed this new addition to their x-rated virtual social network, Red Light Center, at this year’s AVN Adult Entertainment Expo at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.

    http://metro.co.uk/2015/01/31/better-than-the-real-thing-virtual-porn-game-incorporated-3d-oculus-rift-headsets-5043515/