The unedited transcript is posted here in VRBlunt.com. They asked about Todd Glider’s background, and career in the porn industry, as well as the history of the BaDoink brand, as well as the history of new product BaDoinkVR.
Kiiroo’s Onyx, for those who don’t know, provides a haptic component to the VR porn experience. This is awfully important since the key to virtual reality is immersion, or presence, or telepresence, and one can’t say they’ve achieved any of these three things when only two of one’s five senses are experiencing a virtual reality.
When compared with traditional forms of entertainment, how many users are currently already using VR gear to watch adult entertainment?
It’s impossible to provide accurate data. Anyone who says they have that data is being somewhat disingenuous. The market at this point is very, very small because the number of consumers in possession of a VR headset is infinitesimal, compared to smartphones, desktops and tablet computers. Broadly, it’s important to remember that, for all the fanfare, hype and truly inspiring VR programming available, VR as a tech is still incredibly embryonic. All of the excitement it garners is worthwhile and valid and appropriate, but what we’re most excited about, what’s worthy of all that excitement is the signals splintering off the tech. It’s not about what’s here now.
How will this change in the near future? When do you expect that VR will reach user numbers close to what we see today with computers, TV or smartphones?
The release of PlayStation VR is worth celebrating. Google Daydream, even more so. The levee breaks once eye-tracking comes to town. That makes foveated rendering possible. And once video resolution can be managed in a manner that does not require everything in your field of view to be displayed at max resolution, the demands on processing power will drop enormously, and many more consumers will be in the position to afford higher-end devices. When will VR gear be as commonplace as computers, TVs or smartphones? I think we’re a decades out, honestly. Consider that we all know one or two people who live without TV, live without a smartphone. They’re curiosities. They’re noteworthy. We’re still at a point where it’s noteworthy if someone owns a VR device.
Let’s talk a bit about the hardware. The most widely used way right now for VR could be solutions similar to Google Cardboard, since these are the easiest, and by far cheapest solutions. Is the quality of such devices good enough for VR porn?
At BaDoinkVR, we were the first to give away Google Cardboard with every subscription to our VR porn site, but these are, to put it colloquially, gateway drugs. They don’t deserve a place on the shelf alongside your other gadgets. They’re here to give you a taste, and encourage you to purchase something better—like Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive. That’s what makes the release of Google Daydream so exciting. Most people are not going to jump from cardboard to Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. They’ll jump to a mid-range device. Up until recently, that meant Gear VR, and Gear VR, good as it is, works with only a few Samsung phones. With Google Daydream, we see many, many more manufacturers agreeing to release phones supporting the platform. That gives the entire market a nice kick.
What art the minimum requirements a VR headset and the hardware should have to create an enjoyable experience for the user?
Any smartphone released in the last two or three years, with Google Cardboard, or cardboard equivalent, is sufficient to enjoy VR porn. However, the average consumer is not going to watch VR porn in lieu of non-VR porn until, at minimum, they’ve acquired a device that is mid-range or higher.
Other solutions from Oculus, Sony or HTC are far more pricy. Does the user see the difference? And will he be willing to pay the higher price to watch adult entertainment on these devices?
The experience on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift is, hands-down, superior to the experience on Cardboard, or Gear VR, or any smartphone-driven solution. As far as willingness to pay a higher price, I believe that anyone considering the purchase of one of these high-end devices, when listing the pros and cons of purchasing, he or she definitely puts ‘VR porn’ in the plus column.
I doubt that those companies actively support porn on their devices, if they not even try to obstruct it all together. How easy or complicated is it to enjoy VR porn on Rift, Sony VR or the Vive?
Watching VR porn on the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift is as easy as watching VR porn on a smartphone, if not easier. In fact, BaDoinkVR even offers its own desktop player to subscribers. Watching VR Porn on PlayStation VR is also possible with BaDoinkVR, though, at this point, the process is a bit more convoluted.
Will the consumers readily pay for VR content?
They will and do. BaDoinkVR is already profitable, and consumers, at large, see VR content as something separate from ‘normal’ porn. At this point, scarcity certainly has a hand in that. But it’s also an acknowledgement of the quality. Video sharing sites, which are the reason that consumers haven’t expected to pay for porn for nearly a decade now, are lowest-common-denominator channels of distribution. They’re McDonalds and Taco Bell. VR porn, by comparison, is sitting down at the best steakhouse in town.
How will the market for VR porn develop within the next year?
It will continue to grow, the result of more devices hitting the marketplace, the result of more people experiencing virtual reality for the first time. Once you’ve tried it, VR porn leaves a lasting impression. The challenge for everyone in the VR space is convincing people to put those goggles on for the first time. Once he or she does, there’s no going back. They never look at porn the same way again.
The article references a survey in fertility tracking app Natural Cycles. A futurologist predicts that, years from now, women will be sleeping with robots as much as they are watching porn today.
I personally have a difficult time believing that, and, as I’ve said before, I don’t see this robot revolution coming soon. Nor do I, when it comes, think it clangs a death knell signaling interpersonal sexual armageddon.
Robots, VR porn, AR porn, porn magazines, porn movies, it’s all the same thing: Masturbation. Masturbation does not and cannot replace the magic, drama and arousal that comes from sex between two (or more) sentient beings.
This article was published in China.com. VR porn site BaDoinkVR.com is mentioned and I’m quoted. What it says, I think, is that VR porn is the foreplay leading to AR.
While I agree that AR will inevitably blow the roof off everything, I don’t know that it will relegate VR porn to the position of also-ran. Does the average stroker want the experience of a favorite porn star appearing in his or her flat? Yes. Does that mean that that same person will prefer that over the experience of appearing with a favorite porn star by the lake, or in a Hollywood Hills mansion, or hell, on Mars? No.
And who knows. Maybe I’m wrong. The bottom line is it’s still so early. If VR’s in an embryonic state, AR is zygotic.
Could you briefly summarize the current state of porn in VR?
Virtual reality porn, at its best, illustrates the potential and promise of virtual reality better than any other medium. If you compare a good virtual reality porn video to any 2D porn video, the difference is so stark, so immediate, so undeniable, so visceral you can’t help but surrender to the possibility that this new tech is the next big mass communication medium. “VR is interesting, but everything seems like a demo.” One hears that sentiment a lot, and it’s not off the mark. Most VR programs hitting the market today are simply demos. With porn, that is not the case. VR porn videos are complete, entertainment products—with beginnings, middles, and ends. They don’t exist to demonstrate how interesting the tech is, they exist to entertain a mass audience through use of the tech.
Referencing my quote in TrustedReviews.com, PanArmenian discusses likelihood of Apple’s entry into the virtual reality marketplace. As I’ve stated myriad times, I believe it’s inevitable. They’ve got to get their mojo back. I read my quotes and wonder if I wasn’t a little bit harsh. Where Apple is concerned, and their commitment to being tech’s premiere word-changing visionary leaders, I believe that time’s up, and hubris is the driving force.
Apple is unbelievably cash rich, and can explore so many other ventures in and outside tech to increase the power of their brand, and increase shareholder value.
Most of the VR movies you are offering are 180° movies. By when do you think you will have a higher amount of 360 ° movies?
That’s difficult to say for a couple of reasons. We are shooting 180° 3D stereoscopic videos because the consumer is not requesting 360° versions. Our member base is very vocal. We know this because we maintain a feedback forum for members behind the paywall. The 360° 3D stereoscopic videos we shoot are great for trade shows; they convey the WOW factor, but the fact is, from a practical standpoint, most users are lying prostrate when watching our videos, so seeing what’s going on behind them is not so interesting. Further, 360° 3D stereoscopic videos are more expensive to produce, and because of limitations in camera and stitching technology, the quality is never as good as you want it to be, never as good as what’s possible at 180°.
We can’t use a camera like the Nokio Ozo—as one example—because the frame-rate on a camera like that is only 30fps. That’s fine if you’re shooting landscapes, but if the subject matter is a few inches away from you, and indulging in speedy gyrations, it’s insufficient, and bouts of VR sickness would be pervasive.
Again the result of my interview with Trusted Reviews. In it, I’m chastising Apple for its so-so output of late, and suggesting this makes it ever more likely that they will enter the AR/VR market soon.
As a company, what made you decide that Virtual Reality would be the next step for Adult Entertainment? When was this decision to incorporate VR made? Was it something that came about when VR headsets first started becoming public, with the oculus rift and the HTC vive, or was it before that?
We’re a technology company first, so whenever new tech gear hits the market, we buy it. Parenthetically, if you need a pair of Google Glass we’ve a half-dozen collecting dust somewhere. So, we naturally ordered a couple of pairs of Google Cardboard. When we dropped a smartphone inside, and peered through those duo-convex lenses, we were amazed. This was 2014, and what we saw was by no means perfect—heck, 2 years later, with all the hype, VR is still, broadly, very much in a 1.0 phase no matter the device—but the signal was there. So we thought, this could be the biggest revolution in mass-communication in a quarter-century. Not this year. Not next year. Not even this decade. But it could very well be What’s Next. So we resolved to start working toward launching a Virtual Reality porn site. That was the moment. It was all because of the Cardboard. We spent the first half of 2015 on R&D, learning how to produce the content, developing the necessary player software in order that all users—whether on Smartphone or desktop—would be supported, and we launched in July, 2015.
Congratulations on winning the 2016 XBIZ Award for the best adult virtual reality site, especially since it’s the first time this has been a category. Why do you think your site beat out the competition?
BaDoinkVR is the brand of record, and has been for more than a year. Where the mainstream media is concerned, we do a great job representing the industry. We’ve been covered by everyone from Rolling Stone to Forbes. So that’s key. From my perspective, we shoot the most immersive VR content. There’s also the technology aspect. In addition to producing the content, we created the player software needed for viewing VR content: a native app in iTunes App Store and Google Play, a browser-based app for streaming on Android and iOS, and a desktop app compatible with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.