Exclusive report: Augmented reality and the adult entertainment industry
At best adoption so far appears to have has been tentative promotions rather than a huge commitment to augmented reality, what are the hurdles and concerns you face with releasing augmented reality content?
I think the primary hurdles to this point have been threefold: (1) integrating AR into a porn context in a way that actually enhances the porn viewing experience, instead of just adding something gimmicky to the mix; (2) a hesitance on the part of executive management to commit significant time and human resources to augmented reality development; and (3) the technical challenges of executing the concepts that we have come up with to-date.
Although the porn industry has a reputation of driving technology, or at least being among the early adopters of new technologies, it’s also true that the adult industry spends much of its time trying to ape things it sees being done in the mainstream. As such, I think part of the issue here is that adult companies are looking at mainstream use of AR, and not seeing a means or purpose to adopting a similar approach within a porn context. A porn company executive might look at something like the Gorillaz AR campaign and think “That’s very cool and very interesting, but can a porn company do something similar? What’s analogous to a concert tour from a porn company’s perspective?” To be fair to my hypothetical porn entrepreneur, that’s a good question, and one that might be harder to answer in practice than in theory.
Considering the potential of augmented reality, augmented reality and adult entertainment would seem like a match made in heaven, however the initial demos seem a little lackluster. Is that because of technology limitations, cost, or because of lack of user demand?
I think the answer is “all of the above,” really. At the moment, outside of highly passionate early adopters of AR, I think consumer awareness of AR is somewhat limited, at least within the U.S. market. Consumer awareness precedes consumer demand, obviously, and consumer demand is what will drive interest on the developmental and entrepreneurial side of the equation.
As I mentioned earlier, what needs to happen in the adult entertainment sector is for one company to have perceived success with an AR campaign; once that happens, other companies will follow. This pattern has played out again and again over the years, going back to the days of adult magazines and mail-order VHS tapes, right on through the Internet Age.
Do you think we’ll see an explosion of augmented reality content in the adult industry over the next six months?
I think we’ll see such an explosion, but not necessarily over the next six months. If I were a betting man, I’d say that if a rush on AR happens, that rush will take place in 2011, following the January shows in Las Vegas. Many adult companies roll out their “latest and greatest” efforts at AEE and/or Internext in January, which coincide with the AVN Awards. This is when media attention to the adult industry is at its peak for the year, and the adult companies that are most likely to delve into augmented reality happen to be very media-savvy and media-aware companies, as well.
I recently saw that Apple have begun a clamp down on adult orientated material in the AppStore, does this mean we’ll never see a mobile app?
No – it just means you’ll probably never see an adult mobile app in the app store maintained by Apple. We have an Android app live on Mikandi.com, and we plan to launch additional Android apps in the future.
Speaking of Mikandi.com, the folks there couldn’t be happier about the help that Steve Jobs has lent them by pointing out that Android app markets aren’t subject to the same restrictive content guidelines that the Apple app store imposes on its developers. Every time Jobs mentions Android and porn (in what appears to be an attempt to defame or besmirch his competitors?) Google queries for “android porn” skyrocket, and Mikandi is currently the only viable game in town for Android porn apps. So, keep up the great marketing work, Steve! J
Are you planning any more augmented reality campaigns in the near future, if so are you able to give us some details?
While I can’t say anything more about the new campaign right now, what I will do is promise to give you an advance peek at it, before we market it to consumers or announce the campaign publicly.
Yes, we are working on a new AR campaign now, one that is substantially more sophisticated and interesting than our initial AR demo. I can’t say too much about it right now, but I can tell you it is the culmination of a great deal of brainstorming about the most effective and compelling means to “place the viewer in the action,” which has been our Holy Grail where augmented reality is concerned.
So there you have it, a really interesting insight to the adult entertainment industry and why they are behind the augmented reality curve.
A big thanks from Augmented Planet to Quentin from Pink Visual for taking the time to talk to us and answer our questions.
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