Will VR devices such as the Oculus Rift save the porn industry?

Just when you think the porn industry is down and out, along comes new devices such as the Oculus Rift VR headset.

Will virtual reality save the porn industry
Will virtual reality save the porn industry? We think it will – in a big way!

Porn is all about the medium on which it’s delivered to end users. First we had magazines, then 8mm films followed by VHS tapes. The internet was a mixed blessing for the porn industry. It expanded the customer base by offering both anonymity and convenience, but ultimately enabled a level of widespread piracy that almost decimated the adult industry. Interactive webcam sex sites such as Chaturbate have helped to stem the bleeding while creating new wealth opportunities for independent webcam models, but that doesn’t do much to help the large porn studios. But fear not. A saviour is waiting in the wings, and it’s name is virtual reality.

The porn and virtual reality industries both share a common goal. It’s often referred to as the holy grail of VR. The ability to deliver the feeling of presence. Fooling your senses into thinking that you’re actually present in an alternate, digitally rendered reality. The level of immersion this technology can deliver is what can single handedly save the porn industry. A new medium that will offer an unparalleled voyeuristic experience for consumers seeking the next big thing in porn. Think webcam sex is popular? This technology will shake the foundation of the adult industry, shifting the profits towards large producers who can afford the expensive technology required to produce VR media. At least in the early stages.

Currently the big players in VR are the Oculus Rift, Sony’s project Morpheus and Samsung Gear VR. Others will surely follow. What remains to be seen is who will control content. With gaming consoles, content is often curated by the manufacturers to ensure protection of their brand, therefore I don’t expect that VR porn will make an appearance on those platforms anytime soon. But other devices such as the Oculus Rift and Gear VR might actually welcome third party content in order to grow their hardware based. In fact, it’s well known that the porn industry, whether the manufacturers like to admit it or not, has helped seed past technologies such as VHS and DVD players. The same may very hold true for VR headsets. I fully expect that large porn producers will start to produce and deliver VR porn within months of the Oculus Rift ship date.

In terms of content, initial production will largely depend on how quickly standards come about for VR video formats. Will the industry rally around one common VR video standard, or will competing manufacturers develop their own proprietary formats. For the sake of the industry, let’s hope manufacturers see the benefit of avoiding a BETA vs. VHS type of format war, as that will only serve to slow consumer adoption of this new technology.

Large porn producers will be the first out of the gate with VR videos, as they will have the seed money required to purchase the specialized cameras and equipment required to shoot virtual reality video. Assuming the standards are in place, VR porn will rival gaming as the main reason why people purchase headsets. Make no mistake. Virtual reality will be a game changer for the adult industry.

With time, 360 degree VR cameras will reach the consumer level, at which time amateur porn performers will be able to get in on the action. Chaturbate performers already earn considerable money selling their own homemade sex videos and photo sets. Imagine how much more they’ll be able to earn when they start selling virtual reality videos.

Which begs the question; what about real time VR? Imagine sliding on a VR headset and being able to visit a virtual reality version of Chaturbate. That day will surely come, but it’s still in the distant future. If you think pre-recorded 4K video requires lots of bandwidth, can you imagine what a real time virtual reality stream would require? Better video compression and faster internet connections will make this happen, but not in the foreseeable future.

We’re truly excited about the promise of what virtual reality will bring to the porn industry in the near future. This isn’t vapourware. VR Gear is shipping now, and an announcement of the ship date for the Oculus Rift is imminent. I predict that the first mainstream VR porn videos will appear within 2 years. At that point, the adult industry will be able to celebrate. Good times will be here again.

Click here for more!