New Technology Holds Opportunities for the Adult Biz

Stephen Yagielowicz

Forward-looking marketers have long studied the latest product releases announced at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas as a means of unlocking new opportunities and identifying emerging trends. The following highlights from this year’s CES could have some applicability to adult markets — it’s up to you to make them work:

Unlike many online applications, adult entertainment benefits tremendously from any technology that allows hands-free access. For example, eliminating the need for a mouse, or other physical pointing device, could be quite liberating for online porn consumers…

Whatever the resulting applications, CES provides a first-look at the possibilities.

Enter Tobii’s Gaze (www.tobii.com/gaze-interaction), which provides computer users with direct eye control and adaptive interfaces that make common tasks easier, faster and more intuitive.

According to the company, the Gaze features are general principles that are applicable to any software, interface or layer in your computer.

“Pointing out where your attention is at is fully automatic and natural; it’s just up to the user to decide when to activate a command or a click,” states the product’s website. “With Gaze interaction both mouse and mouse pointer becomes superfluous and once you get rid of the slow and cumbersome mouse, selecting and clicking becomes instant.”

Consider the power of icons that change context depending upon where onscreen you happen to be looking, or as Tobii notes, “in your web browser, just look at the URL, search field or web form and start typing. The text will be entered exactly where you want it to.”

Doubtless such control systems will hold much appeal for adult content consumers.

One telling example of the rapid speed with which consumer tech evolves is on the television front, where the previous push to 3D seems to have abated due to poor sales — but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything new in TVs; as they are getting bigger, sharper and smarter: with Internet connectivity, Google TV and Chrome integration and more ….

Organic LED (OLED) technology eliminates the need for backlit displays, delivering blacker blacks and more vibrant colors; while Sony’s new Crystal LED technology offers vastly superior performance in a thinscreen design; both of which point the way to better viewing experiences for consumers who will demand suitable content for these displays.

The integration of features such as Google TV also point to consumer desire to make the most of their technological investments; searching for things to do with their devices.

In the mobile space, smaller seems to be in fashion this year, with most laptop makers now offering next-generation “ultrabooks” for users who want more capability than that offered by Smartphones, but without the size and weight penalties associated with fuller- sized laptops — devices often intended to compete against the popular Macbook Air.

Clearly, consumers want sharper images in a smaller (but not too small) form factor. Perhaps the coolest mobile tech harbinger at CES 2012 to have adult applications is WowWee’s line of augmented-reality (AR) AppGear toys (designed for kids, ages 4-8).

According to the company, AppGear is an innovative line of free apps that seamlessly interact with collectible toys that cost $9.99-$19.99 each.

The toys are usable in the real world, but also serve as augmented-reality set markers.

For example, the company’s “Foam Fighters” are foam-based WWII fighter aircraft that can be tossed about a room — or physically attached to a Smart device, which will lay graphics and immersive game play around the toy. The demo for “Alien Jailbreak” (www.appgear.com/alienjailbreak.php) will give you a great idea of the process as well as the possibilities for this technology. AppGear is compatible with the Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, and Android-powered devices.

For adult operators, the business model of selling a toy that can be used in the real world but brought into an infinite world of custom staging through downloadable apps may have some long term traction. Consider a device such as the RealTouch, which while offering upsells to videos that will “sync” with the action, could be further extended via AR technology that could “transform” the RealTouch into the user’s performer of choice — at least when viewed through an appropriate device.

Whatever the resulting applications, CES provides a first-look at the possibilities, and this year’s show was no exception, but only time will tell how the market embraces these forward-reaching technologies.

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