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Terpon’s Jean-Claude on New VR Cam Line

Terpon’s Jean-Claude on New VR Cam Line

Terpon is pushing the boundaries of immersive live streaming webcams with its new line of 3D-VR cameras.

Designed without concessions on price point, aesthetics or technological excellence, these revolutionary cameras are bringing a new dimension to sensual exploration for performers, studios, site owners and fans.

Since 2001, I have helped to pioneer the 360-degree VR and immersive tech industry. I believe these technologies will eventually lead to the kinds of augmented reality devices once imagined by visionary science fiction authors.

With the winter shows ahead, Terpon and its operators are excited to offer the first online streaming directly from their partners’ cam sites.

XBIZ recently spoke to Jean-Claude (JC) who, along with his wife, founded Terpon to learn how the pair put the wheels in motion to bring their 3D-VR camera line to market in less than 12 months.

XBIZ: How long has Terpon’s new line of 3D-VR cameras been in development, and what kind of investment was necessary to develop these products?

JC: My wife Valerie and I started Terpon in March with a significant personal investment. We are not newcomers to immersive VR technologies, having already founded companies that developed many award-winning tech devices in this vertical. Therefore, it took us only a few weeks to build a first proof of concept, and the prototypes that have been shown to many executives were ready just five months later.

The development of our own electronic and mechanical design, software and firmware components required millions of dollars in investment, and I am pleased to tell you that we are now completing this important step forward.

XBIZ: At the XBIZ office we had the chance to see one of your demos. So far, it’s the best 3D-VR live streaming camera we’ve seen. What was the initial game plan?

JC: It would have been possible to stop sooner and to start broadcasting a few months ago. A few of the many ingenious people in the adult industry and in mainstream did that. In fact, it is amazing to see how content creators have managed to “tape together” pieces of different technologies to obtain surprisingly good results so far — but, even if cobbling different camera components together manually did have the advantage of being faster for companies looking to be first to market, those methods have also proven to have several serious drawbacks. Overheating issues, fragility, encumbrance, non-replicability, complexity to operate, cost, etc. That’s why we decided to take the opposite approach, developing VR cameras as mass production products that are easy to implement from beginning.

XBIZ: Does that mean to be successful at all this, it’s just a question of budget?

JC: I don’t think so. Industrialization of new electronic devices is not a stress-free path, and creating useful, dependable and inspiring devices is not a quick process even for gigantic camera companies entering the VR sector. As an example, Ricoh-Pentax presented the Theta 360-degree camera concept in 2012, reached the market in 2014, and the camera still didn’t match their initial projections of features and functionality until 2016.

That’s why, at Terpon, we are very proud to be bringing devices to market in less than 12 months.

Does that mean we will be successful just because we are capable of bringing a good product on the market? Once again, I will say no! We will soon reach the basecamp, deploying our first few thousands of cameras, but we will need to get our industry friends’ support to arrive at the top of the mountain.

XBIZ: You sound very techy! What’s your background?

JC: My university background is in mathematics and physics, but my interest has always been the advancement of emerging technologies in many fields. After serving in the military as a fighter pilot and a brief successful career in sales and marketing, I made my first million in the real estate business and parlayed that success into building my dream of pursuing leading edge technologies as a full-time career.

Since 2001, I have helped to pioneer the 360-degree VR and immersive tech industry. I believe these technologies will eventually lead to the kinds of augmented reality devices once imagined by visionary science fiction authors.

XBIZ: What sparked your interest in developing such products for live cam streaming in adult?

JC: The main reason I was attracted to the adult industry is that I have seen the power of adult content as a motivating factor for early adopters of new technologies. From the early VCR days to the adoption of mobile devices, and with so many other tech products, it has been proven many times that with the right sparkle, the adult industry can light a fire under consumers like no other outlet in the world.

Our initial focus on the live cam industry comes from the fact that through even less than 1 percent of the performers you can reach a massive amount of potential VR customers, and with a growing number of performers as clients, we intend to become known to hundreds of millions of people who will each need VR headsets that we can provide.

XBIZ: What do current surveys say about virtual reality adoption by adult entertainment customers?

JC: Much of the survey data available from the usual sources is so flawed that we have found it necessary to collect our own data independently. We are in the process of launching a massive survey campaign regarding American consumers with a specialized agency. So far, the majority of studies fail to account for the simple fact that when a question is asked about porn, many people will give a different answer to a pollster in public than their actions prove true in private.

Getting direct data from adult industry partners based on actual user metrics has been very valuable to determining what features, functionality and price points fit the desires of actual customers.

The other misleading perception comes from the fact that only a handful of adult cam performers are equipped with VR cameras right now. Asking what someone thinks of something that may soon exist is very different from asking what they think of a currently available and easily accessible technology.

Before this summer, it will no longer be a question, because we will have helped to demonstrate the power of real VR porn, and it won’t just be an increase of a few percentage points, it will be a groundswell of VR live cam revenue that grows by thousands of percent within only a few months!

XBIZ: What are some of the things people should know about Terpon 3D-VRcameras right now?

JC: We have two different VR cameras arriving on the market during the first quarter of 2017.

The Terpon Artemis is named for the Greek Goddess who was believed to be responsible for the moon, virginity and as the protector of girls. The Artemis is the best choice for webcam studios, site owners and top performers. It benefits from the latest Sony global shutter sensor technology, and is so sensitive to light that you can create live streaming shows using intimate lighting from candles, that look vibrant and crystal clear even in a dimly lit room. Keep in mind that the customers who are willing to pay the most are the ones who are seduced by the feelings of being part of an exclusively intimate experience, and imagine the possibilities the Terpon Artemis camera unlocks.

The Terpon Hermes named for the Greek messenger of Gods and Goddesses, is being offered at a very attractive price point. Its stereoscopic vision is fully integrated into a single plug-and-play device that is light years ahead of the software people are currently attempting to use to merge data from two different webcams.

Both cameras allow cam performers to display their broadcasts with a large immersive field of view of that is about 200 degrees. They empower performers, by making close-ups even a few centimeters from the camera possible, so you can get right into your fans’ laps! That’s very different from competitors that restrict performer freedom by offering only a very narrow field of field of view, causing objects or bodies to disappear if they move outside their keyhole. Terpon helps you get off the couch, and into your customer’s perception of space in the most immersive ways possible as part of a 3D realm that you share together throughout your shows. Setup takes only a few minutes with any Windows or Mac operating system.

XBIZ: What are some of the current hurdles that need to be overcome for mass market VR user consumption to skyrocket?

JC: The first barrier has already been resolved in almost every urban area. VR does require access to modern digital bandwidth. With the future 5G networks and rapid advancement of compression algorithms the bitrates continue to become minified. As of today, Terpon cameras can broadcast pretty well with a 5-megabit/sec upload connection. Obviously, a connection of 20 Mbps is ideal for virtual reality, and that’s still less than just about every high-speed broadband package available anywhere in modern countries.

The second challenge is the lack of quality VR content. Yes, there are a few forward-thinking studios that are producing new VR studio porn, but the total number of scenes available is likely to be in the thousands and it’s mainly POV niche, while the amount of traditional 2D porn videos available is in the millions and covers every niche fetish. One of the main reasons live cams fit VR so well is the fact that content can be created fresh as needed, and in massive quantities that will quickly dwarf all the gaming or other content types available for VR on the market.

The last and largest impediment to mass adoption of VR is that the audience needs to have a specific device to consume VR: a viewing headset. Hundreds of millions of them will be necessary to fulfill the market need and to make VR/AR one of the standard ways people access information. It will take some time, but we think Terpon can greatly contribute to accelerating that process.

XBIZ: Terpon is not a VR headset producer, so how will you resolve that last issue?

JC: It will be the mission of another of my companies, ImmerMania — a mainstream online magazine and VR shop.

To start at lower price points, Terpon will recommend some of the best VR boxes, like the Ruby VR, and we will have them available in the ImmerMania shop. It will come with video tutorials in many languages, and we will build an exemplary customer support team as well.

These purchases will come with an exclusive 90-day free upgrade program to ease the decision at point of sale and provide the possibility of rapidly going for higher-end VR glasses.

In fact, nobody wants their live cam porn session interrupted by a phone call from grandma as their phone vibrates in front of their face! Also, nobody likes to deal with all the battery life issues, overheating, and complex configurations that ruin the immersive quality of virtual reality entertainment.

Investing in the development of state of the art headsets that will be priced at less than $150, ImmerMania will fix this and will bring consumers up to speed by ushering in a new era of headset quality and simplicity as soon as April, with selections of other quality devices from a carefully curated set of brands.

XBIZ: Will you have incentive programs for broadcasters and site owners?

JC: Yes. Everyone at Terpon is ready to do our part to help VR become a major new source of revenue for the entire adult industry.

Cam models and studios will be able to earn affiliate revenue by referring headset customers. They will also be able to have their monthly rental fees paid for by webcam clients through our “Gift-A-Cam” program with their own wish lists. Being a VR cam-model will also provide its own great incentive, as it will propel you to the top of your site’s model rankings, gaining you more customers and earning you more revenue.

Site owners, through an affiliate program we will present in February, will also be able to earn significant revenue by referring customers to the ImmerMania online shop. Moreover, we believe that it will increase the number of paying customers for cam sites as many are not logged in or registered currently but need to become clients to watch VR or to buy VR glasses. That means more sign ups, more conversions and more revenue streams. ImmerMania works for everyone.

Fans get the best gift of all … their favorite performers right in their virtual space to experience sex online together like they have never been able to do until now.

XBIZ: So, you will have direct contact with performers and final users? Isn’t that scary for some cam sites?

JC: Indeed, but it’s important to mention that Terpon is a technology company and camera maker, not a content creator, and ImmerMania is strictly a mainstream company. In our contracts, we make it very clear; we will never be a content producer, a camsite, or anything else that competes with our clients. ImmerMania will never monetize its traffic by leaking traffic to other adult sites, as we understand the values involved and do not want to give away anything from one site to any of its competitors. Our ethics on this point are now and will remain bulletproof!

XBIZ: Let’s hear about the future features Terpon is working on now?

JC: While 3D 360-degree live streaming isn’t practical yet, we do intend later this year to release a high-end 3D-360 VR camera for producers interested in creating the best-prerecorded content for advanced projects. Stay tuned for specs on VR cameras for pro porn shooters that will blow your mind when compared to the GoPro Frankenrigs most are currently working with right now.

As early as March-April the second version of the Hermes camera will include wireless connectivity, and all existing customers will be automatically upgraded for free, so start earning with your version one camera online now and we will evolve them for you each time new technologies become available at zero cost.

We are also working on an amateur VR camera that will offer a 150-degree viewing range at an exceptionally low price point to give everyone the possibility of having their own VR camera for a few dollars, so they can enjoy VR Cam2cam, use it for dating site applications or broadcast non-adult content themselves.

Perhaps best of all, Terpon will continue pushing the boundaries of mobility to enable performers to broadcast from anywhere, and we have a very special surprise that should take flight in time for the 2017 end-of-year holiday season!

These projects are exciting but they will not distract us from our primary focus: reaching the tipping point where VR becomes a ‘Must Have’ commodity.

XBIZ: Will it be risky for models to change from traditional 2D broadcasting to 3D-VR?

JC: No, not at all. 3D-VR shouldn’t be the only way to watch a performer. First, our camera produces a feed that can be enjoyed in traditional 2D video or 3D for customers who like to watch their favorite performers on their TV from the comfort of their couch. In addition, we think it can be valuable to have the 2 different streams available at the same time, so clients can choose 2D or VR. That’s what the studios are planning to do because that way, customers will be able to follow the show throughout the entire session whether they choose their usual screen or decide to wear a VR headset when the real action starts! That’s really important because it means that your current customers, who may not be ready to jump on this new wave yet, will all still be able to enjoy your shows as if nothing has changed at all!

XBIZ: Great, so now that models are eager to get one, how do they buy or lease their own Terpon 3D-VR cameras?

JC: We anticipate the Hermes target price to be just $30 per month, and for the Artemis it will depend on a few different options. Getting your Terpon webcam is as easy as going to Terpon.com/application to sign up.

Our business model is the result of about as much thought being invested in it as we have put into the technical aspects of our camera lines. There are many reasons why we have decided to go with a monthly rental strategy that makes a lot more sense for the adult industry than having customers buy cameras outright. VR technology is evolving very fast and nobody doubts the fact that Terpon will have to quickly go through different camera generations over the next two years.

Replacing a camera you own every few months would be way too expensive. It would also create a support nightmare for our staff as we attempt to provide everything customers need for a typhoon of different device versions. Instead, we have designed a rental program that gives our customers the best of all possibilities.

When you apply for a Terpon VR camera rental policy what you are purchasing is a fully supported camera and free replacement of your camera with the best version every time a newer Terpon series is ready. We will ship you the new camera absolutely free, you put your old camera in the box we provide and send it back to us. No shipping or handling fees, no additional costs, just the latest and greatest camera on the market every single time one is released! Also, since there are no minimum contracts or obligations, you can cancel at any time, which means we need to earn your business every month and that’s exactly the way we think things should be.

If you are environmentally conscious don’t worry, we have a plan for the obviated cameras you send back to us as well. All of the earlier camera versions will be refurbished for other markets requiring telepresence technologies, including many being sent to nonprofit charitable organizations.

XBIZ: What are broadcasters saying about the cameras after seeing the demos?

JC: So far, we have demonstrated the Terpon prototype for dozens of adult industry executives and the response has been very positive.

What I find even more compelling is the comments we have gotten from several top cam models that have already stated they plan to migrate toward webcam sites that can provide VR functionality as soon as their Terpon camera becomes available. We are giving away the first 1,000 cameras in February, and that’s why we are we are urging studios and site owners to integrate our VR technology now, so they are ready when top models start asking for it.

XBIZ: Where can the public find an online streaming demo from a Terpon camera?

JC: Terpon has decided to keep the demos confidential as another way of maintaining our competitive advantage. The first online streaming will be live for the public in the upcoming weeks directly from our partners’ cam sites. That will be the best demo.

XBIZ: Can you tell us how important what you have experienced as a newer member of the adult industry at trade shows and meetings announcing Terpon’s product?

JC: As someone from the tech industry getting into adult in 2016, the tradeshows and industry media outlets have proven to be especially valuable. I feel very fortunate to have met so many amazing people at the shows, and Terpon has put an emphasis on XBIZ events this year because their team has been so terrific to work with in a variety of ways.

There are a lot of misperceptions in mainstream about the adult industry. Some mistakenly believe adult is somehow less technically savvy or more emotional and less professional than other industries. I’ve found that to be absolutely laughable. Several of the smartest people I have met are people who own adult brands. I really think this industry hasn’t gotten nearly enough credit for sparking ecommerce in the first place, adapting to one of the fastest changing business environments over a period of decades and continuing to find ways to work together rather than compete in ways that are detrimental to everyone.

I won’t be so forward as to say I am part of the adult industry just yet after a short time in this market, but I can definitely say the tradeshows and the great people I’ve met so far have helped me feel right at home.

I look forward to working with everyone as I earn your trust while we move forward together as a stronger, more profitable and sustainable collective of companies that give people exactly what they really want, whether they admit it in public surveys or not.

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