WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE

Adult web site PornHub launched their virtual reality section today. As part of that launch, they also released their Android app for Google Cardboard. PornHub has also made available a player for Oculus Rift. The Android app for Cardboard though, ensures millions of people now have an easily accessible way of viewing virtual reality porn using just their smartphone.

I got my own Cardboard viewer when SIGGRAPH was last held in Vancouver. Coincidentally, I just started to look at new Cardboard VR apps several days prior to PornHub’s VR launch. So the timing was great. PornHub’s app allows you to just view videos normally on your smartphone but that’s no fun. The real fun is when you select videos under the “VR” category. Each of those videos has a Cardboard option, which means it can be viewed in 3D virtual reality.

I viewed three VR videos, each about five minutes long, with my Cardboard viewer. All the videos were shot POV style (or point of view), meaning you’re experiencing the scene from one of the actor’s POV. In two of the videos, it’s from the POV of the male, while one was from the female’s POV (there were two ladies in that one). I have to admit, I was really impressed by the gravity of the moment. As a species, we’ve progressed to the point where I’m now able to use my smartphone to experience 3D boobs, butts, and various other parts of the human body swaying and jiggling right in front of my virtual face. The 3D effect is as good as any I’ve seen for a Cardboard app. If you’ve become bored with all the 3D videos of natural landscapes that is a staple of Cardboard apps, you might want to take PornHub’s app for a spin. I can’t state it any simpler, it’s like being there as naked people doing naked people things.

Of course, it’s not all perfect. The resolution of my smartphone doesn’t allow it to be an HD virtual reality experience. The 3D effect works fine just don’t expect to see any fine details. This isn’t the fault of PornHub’s app, it’s a problem with my own hardware. I imagine on the Oculus Rift at 1080 x 1200 per eye, it’s a much more detailed experience. The videos also are about only five minutes long and the scenes appear to be cut short on purpose. I think they might have some plan to charge people for longer scenes.

Overall, it’s not a surprise that a porn company has decided to push the envelope of an emerging technology. Everyone knows that porn has done this time and again, whether it was the home video cassette or the heady early days of video streaming on the Internet. Currently, we’re still quite far from having sex on the Holodeck but considering people were looking at magazines hidden underneath a mattress just years ago, this is quite the development.

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