3D Technology Advances

Stephen Yagielowicz
For many adult entertainment operators, one thing has become abundantly clear over the past several years — while evolving business models may help lead to corporate stability, it'll take another quantum shift in technology to bring the next cash cow to the table.

Vying for this coveted masturbatory milestone are two major contenders: haptics and 3D on the web. While in this observer's opinion, the killer app will be one that unites haptics and 3D (with mobile-enabled live video chat and geo-targeted social networking), each of these technologies individually is already enhancing carnal communications.

Let's take a closer look at one of these technologies and its impact on adult entertainment — the growing use of 3D imaging.

When talking about 3D, it's perhaps natural to conjure images of 1950's monster movies, with the 3D glasses given to audience goers and their red and blue lenses; or of "cartoon" images and other graphics, such as those on modern videogame consoles; but photos and videos can also be produced today using a variety of special 3D systems at the lens, camera and/or processing levels — with sometimes mixed results.

But those results are getting better — much better — and a rapidly growing number of mainstream and adult productions are now employing 3D; and eyeing the web as one of the vehicles via which this content may be delivered.

As previously reported by XBIZ, the Khronos Group, in response to a proposal from Mozilla, has announced an initiative to create an open, royalty-free standard for bringing accelerated 3D graphics to the web. The Khronos "Accelerated 3D on Web" working group is considering various measures including employing OpenGL within web browser software to enable cross-platform 3D-capable web applications.

"With increasing performance, JavaScript is positioned to be a viable programming language for classes of applications currently written in C and C++," stated a Khronos press release. "Graphics developers targeting large audiences through web applications would be well-served by bringing additional graphics capabilities [to] the web platform, particularly the ability to work with 3D."

According to the group, OpenGL is available on all desktop operating systems, while OpenGL ES is being used by an increasingly wide variety of embedded platforms as their native graphics API. It is also now being used to provide the new 3D features within the latest release of Adobe's perennially popular Photoshop software, CS4.

The first fruits of the Khronos Group's labors should be visible in the next full release of the Firefox web browser — leading some observers to believe that 3D on the web will be coming sooner than later, and will be helped along by the hands of many supporters and the various resources they bring to the table.

"With more and more content moving to the web and JavaScript getting faster every day, the time is right to create an open, general purpose API for accelerated 3D graphics on the web," Google's Engineering Director Matt Papakipos said. "Google looks forward to offering its expertise in graphics and web development to this discussion."

"Social networks could create 3D chatrooms and retailers could provide proper 3D visualizations of their products," Forrester research analyst Paul Jackson said. "If you think about the traditional browsing experience of flat pages and links this is not a natural way to interact. People are much more used to walking around and picking things up so a 3D browser could lead eventually to a more naturalistic way of interaction."

But it all comes back to porn — without which, the development and adoption of 3D technology could take years longer…

Commenting on one of his recent 3D productions, Dominic Ford stated that "while someone with a nice body obviously takes a great 2D photo, 3D photos and video gives so much more detail about their bodies: How rounded are his biceps? How do his shoulder muscles curve?"

"Another thing that really comes across in 3D is skin texture," Ford added.

With hi-definition video already delivering incredible textures, the added dimension of going 3D is sure to make the viewer experience "pop" — especially when large screen digital displays; immersive headsets; and the addition of haptics is taken into account.

It is making the viewer feel as though he's "part of the action" that drives all of these technologies; or as Ford put it, "You really see and feel the full thrust of penetration in a way you simply can't in 2D."

And for adult web surfers, there is no better way to become "part of the action" than through one-on-one interaction, such as that offered by live cam affiliate program AdultWebmasterEmpire, which jumped on the 3D bandwagon by adding 3D video chat services to its LiveJasmin.com amateur webcam community — with an upsell offer for the required glasses, indicating another of the revenue streams that 3D content provides.

Of course, technology being what it is, even everyday home users can get in on the fun, with the release of products like Wazabee's 3DeeCamera solution for the iPhone, now available from the Apple App Store. According to the company, "3DeeCamera enables you to create 3D images using your built-in iPhone camera. Take two side-by-side photographs or choose two stereo-pairs from storage to easily generate stunning 3D images by shifting, rotating and scaling the image pairs. Immediately create and share 3D images with friends, family or anyone using an iPhone."

You might have heard about Wazabee — its 3DeeShell snap-on device for the iPhone is being used by Pink Visual to provide "glasses free" 3D viewing of the mobile adult site, iPinkVisualPass.com.

"Shooting content for 3D is challenging and a bit resource-intensive, but when you look at the final product, it's easy to see what the current 3D buzz is about," Kim Kysar, brand and product manager for Pink Visual, said. "This isn't like the cheesy, 1970s 3D viewing experience that a lot of us grew up with. This is cutting edge stuff. The best part is that there's no need to wear those awful glasses."

When it's that easy, and increasing in quality and availability with each passing year, the future of 3D in adult makes other forms of content truly seem flat in comparison. Now if someone can just combine all of these new technologies into the next killer app for adult.

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