Virtual Reality (VR) and the immersive experience it offers is a perfect match for so much of the content we consume on a daily basis. VR allows us to be transported to different worlds and experience content like never before. Almost every major industry is adopting VR in one fashion or another.
One industry that has fully embraced VR and its possibilities is Adult Entertainment. VR has opened an entirely new market for the adult industry. According to the investment bank Piper Jaffray, VR adult content is expected to be a billion-dollar business by 2025. It is believed that adult content will make up the third-biggest sector in the VR department, right after video games (a $1.4 billion business) and NFL-related content (coming in at $1.23 billion).
One of the biggest names in the VR Porn market is Naughty America. 2017 has been an exciting year for Naughty America, making their CES debut and winning a Xbiz award for “Best Virtual Reality Website” in January.
VR Observer was lucky enough to sit down with Ian Paul, CIO of Naughty America where he shared his insights and thoughts around VR.
VRO: Tell us a little about yourself. What’s your background with Virtual Reality (VR)?
IP: I am the Chief Information Officer for Naughty America, a position that I’ve held since 2010. Before that, I worked at IBM and in the telecommunications industry. My only significant experience with VR was back in the 90’s trying VR displays at tradeshows as a teenager, with was quite exciting to me at the time considering I was an avid reader of cyberpunk sci-fi. In general, I am a technologist and a bit of an armchair futurist so VR is something that I could easily embrace.
VRO: In regards to how the adult entertainment industry has impacted technology, what do you see as the biggest impact it has had? Maybe something people don’t realize they use every day, but do not know it was initially driven by porn?
IP: I don’t think most people realize that basic web technologies like video streaming and payment processing were driven, in large part, by the adult industry. Sexual fulfillment is a strong human desire, one that can conveniently be satisfied on some level through the Internet. It’s always been a huge consumer of bandwidth and a driver of technology.
VRO: Where do you see the future of adult entertainment and VR heading?
IP: I think that we’ll see social VR begin to merge with teledildonics. You’ll meet someone in a social VR space and be able to have ‘sex’ with them. Some people’s first sexual experiences with other people might eventually be virtual ones.
VRO: What excites you most about VR?
IP: I am excited about massive social experiences that would be cost prohibitive and physically impossible to replicate in real-life.
VRO: What insights do you have around the confluence of Artificial Intelligence (AI), VR and haptic devices (sex toys) and the potential there?
IP: The potential to be seduced by sex bots in an adult virtual space is a real possibility. With AI comes the ability to bring to bear an enormous amount of historical data about your sexual preferences, and to learn when to most effectively solicit you with that, in order to sell virtual sex to you. This will happen in virtual space way before physical sex bots become popular.
VRO: Do you have any plans to partner with a sex toy company, or even developing something in-house to work in conjunction with your VR videos?
IP: Yes, we have announced a partnership with Kiiroo and are in the process of making our videos compatible with their haptic sex toy devices.
VRO: What do the actors think about VR?
IP: They love it! They feel better appreciated in VR because it brings the viewer so much more intimately close to them.
VRO: How have VR videos performed so far?
IP: Very well. We’ve seen around 400% year over year grown in revenue attributable to VR.
VRO: What impact will VR have on porn?
IP: It raises the bar and will put pressure on free tube sites as the palettes of consumers matures. It will be much more difficult for free tube sites to generate revenue from advertisements in VR.
VRO: As the technology improves and VR becomes even more immersive and interactive, do you think it will affect real life social interactions? For example, relationships and dating.
IP: There is always an interplay between virtual and real social spaces. Many people have made real-life friends from people they’ve met online. Certainly, you see the overuse of phones affecting social experiences today, too. So yes, people may begin to meet in virtual spaces and form relationships. People that are dating or in relationships might choose to do activities in virtual worlds together.
VRO: What is your favorite VR video right now?
Naughty America’s “Fidelio: A Virtual Reality Sexcapade” is definitely my favorite. We innovated a lot in this video. For instance, we began cutting from one scene to another, instead of keeping it in the same point of view the entire time. There are also a lot of Easter eggs that we put off to the sides when you look around. It’s a lot of fun.
Be sure to check out Naughty America (NSFW) for their full selection of VR videos.