A porn studio called VR Bangers has revealed a proof-of-concept sex helmet that uses seven cameras and a pair of binaural microphones to record the next generation of immersive — and presumably titillating — adult video.
According to a CNET story, VR Bangers claims that the spider-like rig can film in 300 degrees, and that interior screens let adult actors take a more active role during filming than the clunky VR cameras of yore.
And make no mistake: though the quest for better tools for creating VR content is bigger than pornography, history shows that it would be a mistake to ignore innovations in the adult film sector.
As the VR headset Oculus Rift geared up for its debut, Wired heralded the platform as "immersive." Four years later, the rendered virtual environments of video games do give an impressive sense of presence.
But video for VR headsets, which film a wide angle so that you can turn your head while watching, has remained painfully awkward — worst of all is the disorienting sensation that your head is remaining perfectly stationary while people and things around you move.
Adult film studios would love to see that change as their audience is clearly interested in VR — the New York Times reported that views of VR videos jumped 275 percent between 2016 and 2017 on the popular site PornHub.
Why It Matters
History has repeatedly demonstrated the porn industry's ability to dictate the trajectory of consumer technology. It's been widely reported that the VHS tape format won out over Sony's Betamax technology in the 1980s because porn distributors chose it as the standard format. The adult film industry also helped pioneer online video streaming.
Whether adult film will lead the way again with VR remains to be seen. For now, VR Bangers says it's keeping the sex helmet to itself.
"As VR is becoming more commonplace, it is very much a competitive field with a few main players," VR Bangers marketing director Ignor Zhivago told CNET. "So far we are choosing to maintain our competitive edge and using these rigs for our productions exclusively."
If the tech is a hit, though, it'll be hard to stop imitators. After all, while VR headsets have been slow to spread into the mainstream, the first company to crack the market open — adult-oriented or not — could stand to cash in big time.
READ MORE: This VR 'Sex Helmet' Concept Will Haunt Your Nightmares [CNET]
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