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Video: Getting Away With VR Porn

May 16, 2017 8:00 AM PDT    Text size: 

LOS ANGELES — As virtual reality porn continues to make headlines, consumers are becoming uncomfortably aware of the masturbatory technology’s Achilles’ Heel — once immersed into VR with headset and headphones, you can’t tell if you’re alone in the room…

It doesn’t take much imagination to predict a rash of embarrassing viral videos of wankers in their glory, unaware they are being videoed for entertainment and revenge by friends and loved ones — and one need not be Nostradamus to predict a rise in consumer reluctance over being adorned with this technology as a result.

In a recent article for Mic, writer Melanie Ehrenkranz discussed the situation with a number of VR porn’s early adopters in an effort to seek a solution.

“Getting caught with your pants down is embarrassing,” Ehrenkranz wrote. “Getting caught with your pants down while sporting a clunky virtual reality headset sounds like the prologue to an essay titled ‘Why I Threw My Devices Into the Sea and Retreated Into the Wilderness.’”

It is a succinct summary of the situation.

Pornhub VP Corey Price told Ehrenkranz that the company is working on a solution, and though scant on details said “it is not a decorative ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign [but rather] something much more technological that will serve as an effective means to alert individuals using VR headsets that there is a visitor fast approaching, providing them with ample time to ... readjust.”

xHamster VP of Marketing Alex Hawkins also said the company is addressing privacy in the VR space and is developing a “specially designed motion sensor that immediately closes your browser windows and turns off the sound the second someone comes into your private space. As soon as the device identifies an intruder — boom! — the porn disappears.”

While consumers await a technological solution to the problem, simple steps and workarounds are filling in the gaps, such as fans advising other users to not wear headphones, wearing pants that are easy to pull up quickly, and developing the ability to rapidly hit Alt-F4 without looking.

Other solutions include using a baby monitor or webcam to drive a video feed within your VR space that reveals the entrance to your room or other area — the high-tech version of the rear-facing mirror often attached to a computer monitor for that just-in-time over-the-shoulder view.

This YouTube video shows an example of how one user monitors his baby in the other room while playing VR games — but it is just as applicable to monitoring your “baby” in the other room while viewing porn.

Another option comes from CAM4VR’s Ela Darling, the red-carpet host for the upcoming 2017 XBIZ Cam Awards in Miami, who notes that one easy way to avoid problems is to choose your VR headset wisely — where mobility via Google Cardboard-style and Gear VR devices offer the flexibility of choosing a more private location at the cost of the quality obtained from tethered headsets such as the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.

“Whether you’re wearing a headset or not ... you’re in a vulnerable position,” Darling said. “This isn’t a new problem, it’s just a slightly exacerbated problem.”

Darling points to tried-and-true solutions such as locking your door, adding, “there’s [always] the trusty gym sock on the door — the universal sign of ‘Don’t fucking bother me right now.’”

The full article can be read here.

The latest in adult VR technology will be on display at the XBIZ Miami Interactive Summit, where a special VR Shootout will pit porn’s leading VR producers headset-to-headset in an attendee-voted “Best of Show” competition.

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