June 22, 2016

"But if you’re not a gamer and you’re not looking for a new kitchen, V.R. is, at this point, just too immersive for most media."

"A few minutes after donning my goggles, I came to regard my virtual surroundings as a kind of prison. Yes, V.R. is a prison of fantastical sights and sounds and one that is at moments irresistibly exciting, but it’s a prison nevertheless," writes Farhad Manjoo in The NYT, who thinks virtual reality is especially bad for porn. He was afraid to try it himself, so he quotes some tech editor named Mike Wehner:
“I don’t care who you are, there’s a fantastic chance you know the paralyzing fear that shoots up your spine when you’re watching a smidgen of erotica and you think you hear the door open, a creak from the stairway or even a random footstep... That feeling is amplified to an insane degree when you can’t actually see or hear what is happening around you, and it’s not an experience that is conducive to self pleasure.”

31 comments:

Expat(ish) said...

I was very skeptical about VR then tried it at the Microsoft store - it was the only sign of life, having a line of a few people.

I am now a convert. I'm not sure what I'd use it for on a personal level, but the business opportunities are enormous. It's the first thing I've seen that could kill my need to fly and see people.

I could give a host of reasons, but go try it yourself. If you see an Apple store there is a MS store nearby.

-XC

MadisonMan said...

Laslo bait

John said...

My only experience with VR was at a robotics trade show last year.

Lincoln electric had a VR training system to test and teach electric arc welding. there was a regular stinger and a regular seeming welders hood/mask. I put it on and it felt like I was in a welding shop. It felt very real. I then used the stinger to lay down a bead on what looked like 2 pieces of steel at right angles. In reality it was a plastic angle.

It felt incredibly real. the stinger vibrated slightly as it would if actually welding, the arc looked right, I could see and control the size and quality of the weld bead. It was so real that I thought felt a slight weld spatter on the back of my hands. (No gloves)

The quality of the weld was automatically graded (I got about 7 out of 10) and could have been used for testing me for a job as a welder. This was what the system was designed for. More complex and elaborate testing scenarios would normally be used, of course.

I would not believe it if I had not done the demo myself.

John Henry

bagoh20 said...

As to porn, I think for many people being a voyeur is more exciting than participating. VR takes that away. I doubt that many people want to actually be in the room with the nasty shit they watch. It's like watching a train wreck. You want to watch it, but how close do you really want to be?

damikesc said...

VR will be shit for gaming, too. Motion controls never worked and this has all of those issues and then some.

Now, VR for porn will make an ungodly amount of money.

MadisonMan said...

Per John Henry's comment, I can see the advantage of VR if you want to test someone's ability before hiring them (for a non entry-level position).

As for other things, though, I think I'd prefer actually to do something, rather than experience it through the eyes of a software developer.

Nonapod said...

Pretty much everyone that have tried the new headsets (Oculus, HTC Vive, Playstion VR and others) all say that it's amazing. At this point figuring out gaming in VR, how it will work, what's fun, what's tedious, what's disorienting and/or nauseating, is an ongoing process. Figuring out porn seems even more weird and experimental.

It's early days yet with this technology. Give it a few years. More and better interfaces will help with immersion, things like affordable haptic gloves.

Paddy O said...

There's a movement to use this for online education. I'm very intrigued by the possibilities.

Bob Boyd said...

"you know the paralyzing fear that shoots up your spine when you’re watching a smidgen of erotica and you think you hear the door open..."

Unless you have Secret Service protection.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I just found out that there's now a high-tech thing called AspireAssist. The physician installs a portal to your stomach so you can overeat and then use a tube to drain 30% into the toilet. A boon for bulimics who just can't get it up anymore.

When it comes to aspirating semen, I'm old-school. Memories from 40 years ago still get the job done.

V.R.? We don' need no stinkin' V.R.!

tim maguire said...

This may not be a good way to watch porn, but it will be hell on the prostitute industry. Between this and sexbots, the oldest profession is headed some serious disruption.

Larry J said...

I would like to have a VR setup with a drone or larger RC aircraft to give a bird's eye experience of flying. For actual flying, I'd prefer an augmented vision system that let me see normally but also let me see more than I could with the naked eye. Synthetic vision* has been around for several years now. They're working on combining synthetic vision with enhanced vision to improve what a pilot can see in degraded weather conditions. Combine that with flight, navigation, weather, and traffic information and you'd have something that could really enhance flying safety.

*Synthetic vision uses a terrain database to generate a view of the world. It's very useful for navigation and terrain avoidance but is only as good as your database. An obstacle that isn't in the database can't be shown. Enhanced vision uses one or more IR cameras to see through clouds. It can show things such as obstacles on a runway. Some avionics companies are developing hybrid systems that combine synthetic and enhanced vision. Create an affordable version of the helmets that F-35 pilots wear (those cost about $400,000) and feed it with a hybrid vision system and you'd really have something useful. Something like that might be good for other occupations, such as truck drivers and tub boat operators.

tim in vermont said...

I can wait until the artists get over the thrill of the effects. It still hasn't happened in 3D movies, and probably never will.

Larry J said...

I would like to have a VR setup with a drone or larger RC aircraft to give a bird's eye experience of flying. For actual flying, I'd prefer an augmented vision system that let me see normally but also let me see more than I could with the naked eye. Synthetic vision* has been around for several years now. They're working on combining synthetic vision with enhanced vision to improve what a pilot can see in degraded weather conditions. Combine that with flight, navigation, weather, and traffic information and you'd have something that could really enhance flying safety.

*Synthetic vision uses a terrain database to generate a view of the world. It's very useful for navigation and terrain avoidance but is only as good as your database. An obstacle that isn't in the database can't be shown. Enhanced vision uses one or more IR cameras to see through clouds. It can show things such as obstacles on a runway. Some avionics companies are developing hybrid systems that combine synthetic and enhanced vision. Create an affordable version of the helmets that F-35 pilots wear (those cost about $400,000) and feed it with a hybrid vision system and you'd really have something useful. Something like that might be good for other occupations, such as truck drivers and tub boat operators.

buwaya puti said...

Ive thought for years that VR would do miracles when applied to accounting systems. A front end to SAP for instance. See all this in 3D.

William said...

All my life reality has given me nothing but trouble. I long for a better world, a world where gravity isn't so damned annoying. It's early yet in the VR world. Things will get better. This is not true as regards my carbon based life form.......So far as porn goes, you just know that there are tons of programmers, coders, and designers working feverishly to make this a rewarding experience. Better porn is an issue that they care about deeply, and they will make it happen.

Michael K said...

The Army has been using VR for training trauma surgeons for at least ten years, I saw some early on and it must be much better now.

One example.

John Henry said...

Maybe or maybe not related to VR:

Clemson University's school of packaging sets up a small store at Pack Expo every year. They fit you with a pair of glasses that can tell what you are looking at then send you into into the store with a shopping list. "Products" on the shopping list are displayed in various designs and colors. For example, Special K with 3-4 different graphic schemes.

The glasses track which package captures your attention, how long you looked at it, what part of it you looked at and so on. So perhaps a green Special K logo really grabs my attention.

They then gather this info and use it to design new packages and graphics.

2 years ago they went a step further. They had a headset that read brainwaves through several contact points. They could not only tell I was looking at the green Special K logo but could tell how I felt about it. I might stare at it because it was unusual and surprised me, because I really felt good about it or because there was no way in Hell I would buy the product with a green logo.

I am a packaging journalist (among other things) and know a number of the Clemson faculty so I got the red carpet treatment. The whole process was way cool.

John Henry

John Henry said...

For those who are confused by the concept of a school of packaging, UW has one of the better ones at UW-Stout in Menomenee. I've been there and may eventually teach there if we can figure out how to avoid my having to spend a winter in Menomenee.

Also, WITC has a great packaging machine mechanic school in New Richmond. Graduate start at $40-100,000.

If you have a kid wondering what to study, they could do worse than this. It is a great and varied field.

It has treated me very well indeed.

You can buy my Packaging Machinery Handbook through Ann's portal

John Henry

Larry J said...

John Henry said...
Maybe or maybe not related to VR:

Clemson University's school of packaging sets up a small store at Pack Expo every year. They fit you with a pair of glasses that can tell what you are looking at then send you into into the store with a shopping list. "Products" on the shopping list are displayed in various designs and colors. For example, Special K with 3-4 different graphic schemes.


What you're describing isn't VR. It's a system to track eye movement to see where people are looking. It's used for a variety of studies. For example, I remember reading about a study a year or two ago about driving. They put people into a driving simulator while wearing an eye tracking device. They found that, on average, for every two miles you drive, you make 20 observations, 10 decisions, and one mistake.

tim in vermont said...

You could keep a giant warehouse dark and have employees get around with enhanced vision and save energy. Maybe.

Ann Althouse said...

For the privacy-porn problem, it seems they need a complete enclosure, a coffin-like box.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

there’s a fantastic chance you know the paralyzing fear that shoots up your spine when you’re watching a smidgen of erotica and you think you hear the door open, a creak from the stairway or even a random footstep

He needs to move out of his mom's basement.

Bill Peschel said...

John Henry, I was at my son's high school for an awards ceremony, and by chance met a guy who was an engineer who designed packaging for the consumer and military. Is that similar?

As for VR, I suspect despite the hype this will be another Segway. They'll find a lot of uses for it, but do you really need one to test welding when you have a shop full of welding equipment and you can see the guy actually work the tools?

I did have a laugh at the guy worried about wanking off and hearing a door open. Has he not heard of locks?

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

This may not be a good way to watch porn, but it will be hell on the prostitute industry. Between this and sexbots, the oldest profession is headed some serious disruption.

Not just prostitutes. Women will have to up their game if they expect men to stick around.

Laslo Spatula said...

So I hook into my Virtual Reality goggles and turn on some porn.

Naked girl on a bed: so far so good, although the proximity and detail of her toes are a little disconcerting -- I can't see her face. Maybe this is good for the Foot Fetish people, I don't know...

Then, from overhead, comes a GIANT cock, like a jet plane rumbling in for a landing. Instinctively I duck, but it is still RIGHT THERE. And is that a pimple? Is that a pimple on the cock? Once you see the pimple you cannot not-see the pimple…

Oh shit: now the balls. Hairless Giant Balls, dangling just above my nose. I don't want these hairless giant balls near my nose, but I can't evade them: however I move my head they are THERE, they are EVERYWHERE, blocking out the rest of the room, I can't get away. It looks like I could just reach up and touch them but I DON'T want to reach up and touch them, I want them out of my face please…

Oh, fuck. I should've seen THIS coming: I'm now staring at the guy's hairless asshole as he goes to fuck the girl. Maybe he is already fucking the girl, I can't tell BECAUSE THERE IS A GIANT HAIRLESS ASSHOLE RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FACE. Back and forth, with slight variations of pucker and clench. I DO NOT WANT TO SEE THIS. It is just ASSHOLE, epic and all-encompassing, it is the Grand Canyon of Assholes, I'm practically on the Rim and I am now having a Panic Attack…

I am having a Panic Attack and all I can see is the Giant Hairless Asshole: I can't breathe, I can't breathe, but then -- Thank God! -- he moves to the side as he pumps the girl from behind…

Except now I can see the girl's face, not just her feet, and she is NOT a girl: I am watching some guy fuck another guy's ass. This is NOT what I wanted at all! Everywhere, shaved balls and cocks and assholes, shaved balls and cocks and assholes EVERYWHERE! I'm going to have a heart attack, I feel it, and then they will find my cold dead body with Virtual Reality Gay Porn still streaming into my sightless eyes…

I curse my raging Erection.

I am Laslo.

John Henry said...

Bill Peschel,

The guy you met may have been a graduate of a school of packaging or may have gotten into it another way. But yes, it sounds like the kind of thing the schools teach. The military is a huge consumer of specialized packaging. Everything from MRE rations to missiles. Stuff that may be used in the next few days to stuff that may sit on the shelf in harsh environments (Diego Garcia, for example) for decades.

As for the welding, there are several advantages:

The testing can be done anywhere. Wheel the system into a hotel conference room for a job fair, for example. Since there is no actual welding, with sparks, arc, fumes, noise etc, it can be done with other people nearby.

You can test a variety of welding technologies and scenarios. Stick, mig, tig and so on, Different materials, different positions and so on. Just by selecting a menu.

It is quantitative, eliminating human judgement. Did you not hire this guy because the evaluator doesn't like blacks? Or because he got a score of 5 out of 10? Did you hire this woman because she is your sister in law or because she got 9.5 out of 10? Did this person get a different, easier, test than that person? All this goes away.

I see it as much better than qualitative evaluation. Assuming that it really works as it seems to.

Re the door opening: How about program that into the VR porn randomly just to add a frisson of excitement?

John Henry

tim in vermont said...

It would be nice to not have your attention forced to wherever the director thinks it should be, such as on hydraulics 90% of the time.

YoungHegelian said...

@jh,

Re the door opening: How about program that into the VR porn randomly just to add a frisson of excitement?

"Grandma!!! Shut the goddamn door!"

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Laslo Spatula said...

This is NOT what I wanted at all!

Quick- switch to the program with the pony-tail girl on the treadmill. That one always works for me...

John said...

Larry J,

Quite right, eye tracking is not VR. It is a different and much older technology used in a lot of applications. That is why I said that my comment may or may not be related.

I can see it working in conjunction with VR, though. Perhaps a cable could be hooked to Lazlo's asshole. As he is watching the VR porn, an integrated eye tracking system sees him focusing on the giant asshole. An algorithm evaluates what Lazlo is focusing on and gives him a jolt in his own asshole. There may still be some bugs to be worked out. Should it be a pleasant sensation to enhance his experience? Or a high voltage shock to send the message: "You pervert, stop focusing on assholes."?

Seriously though, I think the eye tracking could give automatic feedback either through modifying what is shown in the VR or external inputs stimuli.

John Henry