This is the second in a series of articles in which we take a look ahead at some of the issues and events I believe will be of great interest to adult entertainment businesses in 2012.
This month we will highlight two events that I believe will be important technological milestones for the adult entertainment industry: the widely anticipated debut of the live video chat Real Touch sex simulation system and the first entirely virtual adult entertainment trade show.
If the introduction of the live RealTouch system is as successful as I think it might be, I would not be surprised if online game providers expedite the development of more advanced haptic devices for live use in massive multiplayer online games.
The adult entertainment industry has historically been an early adopter of new entertainment technologies and a successful developer of innovative new business models using those innovations.
From the VCR to the DVD player, from telephonic audio-text services to the Internet, early demand for adult content in each of these media was a significant, if not a critical factor contributing to their success in the broader market. Moreover, nearly every successful e-business model currently in use today was originated by online adult entertainment entrepreneurs.
Lately, it may seem that the adult entertainment industry has lost some of its pioneering Internet leadership to other players, such as the social networking companies.
In this article I will highlight, however, two events slated to occur in 2012 that I think are likely to show that the industry is still exceptional in its willingness to boldly adopt and enhance new communication technologies.
The Live Video Chat Enabled RealTouch Sex Simulator
Live adult videoconferencing is big, and getting bigger. Among live chat providers and promoters it’s no secret that the booming live cam business is one of the adult entertainment industry’s best performing market segments. Online consumers now purchase enough live cam show minutes to support thousands of regular live cam performers each day.
The increasing demand for live adult chat is now also providing many adult companies dependent on recorded content business models welcomed opportunities to add additional income streams that are much less vulnerable to piracy. And as big as live chat is today, it is only likely to grow in the future as more and more devices, such as mobile phones and tablet computers, provide instant built-in live video chat capability.
But live chat’s expansion to mobile and computer tablet devices can be viewed essentially as a predicable exploitation of new platforms running videoconferencing technologies that are adaptations of their PC-based predecessors. In January, AEBN is scheduled to debut a wholly new kind of technology that can so dramatically augment the live chat experience that it may well usher in a brand new kind of sexual communication between persons. What is the technology that causes me to make so bold a statement? It is AEBN’s introduction of the live chat version of the RealTouch tactile sex simulator.
For those who are not familiar with AEBN’s current RealTouch product, it is what is called a haptic simulation device. Haptic device systems, in the broadest sense, use devices to sense tactile, i.e., touch, information, which is then digitized and transmitted to an output device at a remote location that reproduces the tactile sensation. AEBN’s current RealTouch product, originally debuted by the company in 2009, reproduces tactile information encoded in association with recorded content. Essentially, a user inserts his penis into the RealTouch device’s pseudo vaginal/oral orifice and receives reproduced tactile sensations synchronously with displayed explicit motion picture content.
In January, AEBN will debut its much anticipated live-enabled, or what some have called its video-chat enabled, RealTouch system. The patented revolutionary haptic system will actually allow a form of remote sexual contact between users.
Here’s how it will work: A service provider, such as a live-chat performer, will use a dildo-looking device that has incorporated motion, suction and ultimately heat sensors. The device is thereby able to detect and transmit information regarding how it was fellated or manipulated in a vaginal or anal orifice.
The other party, at a remote location using the standard currently available RealTouch device, is provided the tactile information from the dildo device to his penis synchronously with the live audio and video transmission. This is done via the patented use of sophisticated modern online gaming technology, which enables the RealTouch to reproduce the performer’s tactile actions (motion, pressure, suction, heat, etc.) around a user’s penis.
I must disclose that I am personally proud about the introduction of the live-chat enabled RealTouch technology because it is the culmination of over eight years of efforts by AEBN and a company called ISLLC, with some assistance by me, to bring the underlying heavily patented technology to market.
And as one of the persons who has actually tested the RealTouch in live mode, I can tell you that the live synchronous provision of sensorial data to three senses —sight, hearing and touch simultaneously —is a wholly new and much more realistic experience than simply engaging in traditional audiovisual chat.
Needless to say, I believe that tactile-enabled live erotic chat will be an unqualified hit. But above and beyond AEBN’s revolutionary introduction of the live chat enabled RealTouch system, I believe it is important to understand that this is probably but the beginning of a real revolution in entertainment resulting from the introduction of synchronized live haptic information.
I believe that what we are witnessing is something analogous to the revolution caused by the 1927 debut of the first “talking” motion picture entitled “The Jazz Singer.” The movie was the first to combine and synchronize audio and video and simultaneously stimulate both the visual and hearing senses of movie patrons. Because the “talkies” were so much more “realistic” than silent films, Hollywood stopped making silent films and never looked back.
If the introduction of the live RealTouch system is as successful as I think it might be, I would not be surprised if online game providers expedite the development of more advanced haptic devices for live use in massive multiplayer online games. If that happens, the broader world of entertainment will, as it was in the 1920s, be forever changed.
Information regarding live RealTouch products is available at www.realtouch.com. Information regarding sales opportunities and meetings with AEBN representatives regarding the live chat enabled RealTouch system can be obtained by contacting Scott Rinaldo at (704) 559-5211.
But wait, there’s more. While I hope to see you at the AEBN booth at the January shows or at one of the legal panels on which I am featured, I also hope you will join me, virtually, at another industry show that will make its debut a month later. A show that by its nature is as technologically revolutionary as the live RealTouch system, “The Adult Entertainment Virtual Convention.”
AVEC, Completely Virtual Convention
With the successful IPO of virtual world game developer Zinga, the creator of Farmville, there is little doubt that virtual worlds are fast becoming a big part of online entertainment and social media interaction. Perhaps not as widely appreciated, however, is the fact that virtual worlds are also proving to be an area of rapid commercial growth and technical innovation. For example, according to a recent report by Inside Virtual Goods (See http://www.insidevirtualgoods.com/us-virtual-goods/), the overall market for “virtual goods” in the U.S. is headed towards $2.9 billion for 2012. That’s up from $2.2 billion this year, and $1.6 billion in 2010.
Also, the boundaries between social networks and virtual worlds are rapidly breaking down. Immersive environments and social networks are increasingly exhibiting and exploiting similar user behavioral elements such as reputation, desire for customization and community building. And, increasingly, social networks are adopting attributes common in virtual worlds, such as avatars, virtual rooms, digital goods, virtual currencies and managed economies.
But for many industry observers, myself included, the virtual world phenomenon has just barely begun. Over the next few years I think it is likely that we will see more and more real world social interaction, commerce and education emulated in, and enhanced by, virtual worlds. In fact, with the highly successful recent debut of the Virtual World Web by Utherverse, the immersive media technology provider for Red Light Center, it is clear that virtual worlds will soon be seen less as merely 3D islands on a 2D web and more as the essential backbone of a modern emerging 3D Internet.
One particularly interesting new “killer app” for online 3D worlds is the “virtual convention.” The idea is the brainchild of inventor, Internet genius, and Utherverse CEO, Brian Shuster. It is one of those great ideas that use existing technology in a novel and ingenious way, but when you see the concept fully deployed, it instantly makes so much sense that it makes you wonder why someone didn’t do it a long time ago.
In sum, Utherverse has developed an entirely immersive online virtual convention experience that substantially emulates that of a real world trade show but without the travel costs associated with attending or exhibiting at such an event.
In 2011, Utherverse debuted its “UtherConvention”, a virtual trade show for the virtual worlds industry. It was quickly followed by its production of the World of Warcraft Fan Convention, the world’s first virtual fan convention. Each virtual event drew thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors, sponsors and speakers, including myself. In fact, I appeared live at the UtherConventions as an attorney avatar speaking on the topic of intellectual property rights in virtual worlds before hundreds of other avatar attendees. I thank Utherverse for providing me with that extraordinary opportunity to be the first lawyer in the world to make such a presentation entirely in a live online virtual world environment.
The next virtual convention, powered by Utherverse’s virtual convention software, which, incidentally, includes many patent pending technologies, will be the “Adult Entertainment Virtual Convention” (AEVC) produced by the most successful adult oriented social network and 3D world, Red Light Center.
AEVC will be the world’s first completely virtual adult entertainment trade show. It will take place entirely within an online 3D world over a three day period from Feb. 24-26. And I have no doubt that AEVC will be a watershed event for the adult entertainment industry.
The event will be held entirely in a virtual conference center showcasing what Red Light Center claims will be the ultimate in adult entertainment. AEVC will commence with an exclusive business-to-business networking day on Friday, Feb. 24.
The virtual convention, sponsored in part by XBIZ, is expected to attract over 10,000 unique avatar visitors comprising adult entertainment fans and industry professionals from around the world.
The layout of the Adult Entertainment Virtual Convention will be similar to real world conventions. There will be a virtual main hall with a large number of exhibits arrayed in rows. There will also be a virtual convention center featuring meeting rooms for break out sessions and guest speaker presentations. I am scheduled to speak at one such session, as an attorney avatar, of course. And, like all great adult entertainment conventions, there will be adult film actress appearances for fans, numerous sponsor parties, a virtual awards show, and a virtual “Player’s Ball” to wrap the convention.
Analogous to brick-andmortar trade shows, attendees will be able to freely wander about the convention and interact with exhibitors and other attendees, all as full motion avatars using Utherverse’s state-of-the-art avatar and virtual world technology.
I sincerely believe that AEVC is likely to be an event of historic industry importance on par with the first Adult Entertainment Expo (i.e., the “AVN section” of the Consumer Electronics Show), the first Internext (i.e., the IA 2000 Show), the first Phoenix Forum, and the first XBIZ Conference.
But more importantly, however, I think that years from now we might well view the first Adult Entertainment Virtual Conference as marking the time that adult social networks in virtual worlds like Red Light Center really began to take off in tandem with their non-adult virtual world social media counterparts.
But regardless of how nonadult oriented immersive 3D online social networks evolve, as always, I think we can expect the adult industry to provide its own unique catalysts for technological and commercial development of the medium. For example, I can tell you that I am reasonably confident that it won’t be long before the live-chat enabled RealTouch system is modified and optimized for deployment in Red Light Center to provide avatar members in that virtual world with the ability to more robustly enjoy the use their avatar members, so to speak.
As Shakespeare’s character Miranda in “The Tempest” and famous author Aldous Huxley have both observed, it is a brave new world. It is indeed. But to that I might add, however, the brave new world is increasingly virtual.
Information regarding exhibition at the Adult Entertainment Virtual Convention and sponsorship opportunities is available at www.adultvirtualconvention.com/become.aspx.
Gregory A. Piccionelli is an intellectual property and adult entertainment attorney. He can be reached at Piccionelli & Sarno at (818) 201-3955 or firstname.lastname@example.org.