Porn industry embraces technology to maintain its hold on customers
By Glenn Chapman, AFP Monday, January 10, 2011, 9:43 pm TWN
LAS VEGAS, Nevada--Porn fans are being enticed with cybersex and virtual affairs as the adult entertainment industry adapts to survive in the Internet Age.
Trends at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo that ends Sunday in Las Vegas included Internet video streamed wirelessly to televisions; remote-controlled intimacy, and augmented reality.
Technology themes at the event echoed those at the Consumer Electronics Show gadget extravaganza taking place at the nearby Las Vegas Convention Center.
Porn producers had software applications to deliver pictures and videos to smart phones or tablet computers. Online services touted high-definition movies streamed on-demand using the Internet. Films were going 3D.
Pink treated expo attendees to virtual sex in the form of augmented reality software that put them into an on-screen scene with porn star Lexi Belle.
All that is needed for the virtual encounter was an Internet-linked computer and a Web camera.
Pink also used FaceTime video chat capabilities of Apple iPhones to connect expo goers with models that were at home.
Models from a VSex.com website demonstrated a service that let online viewers remotely control a robotic phallus during an intimate online exchange with a woman. Private VSex sessions cost US$7 per minute.
Silicon Valley technology firm Veebeam was at the expo to show off equipment that wirelessly routes video from computers to television sets.
"There is a lot of content, adult as well as traditional, being consumed on personal computers," said Patrick Cosson of Veebeam. "There is a lot of desire to share that experience on TV."
A Veebeam kit for streaming standard video from a computer to a television was priced at US$99 while gear for wirelessly routing high-definition movies was priced at US$139.
Veebeam was exploring potential alliances with porn studios looking for ways to get their works into set-top boxes and Internet-ready TVs.
The expo also saw the debut of a US$99 kit that lets anyone open an online shop stocked with porn-oriented software for desktop computers, smart phones and Apple's iPod Touch.
People who open online storefronts are promised more than half the profits, with Sex App Shop managing technical aspects of the operations and getting the rest of the money.
A "Bonecraft" computer game at the expo was pitched as a spoof on popular videogames "Starcraft" and "World of Warcraft."
The game opens with drunken space soldiers crashing on a planet with troll-like "orcs" and Elvin women.
Steven Mulkhan of Reel Interactive film production company was at the expo promoting 3D content as key to the fortunes of the porn industry.
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