More Than a Feeling: How Haptic Holograms Can Improve Your Sex Life
Mixing 3D touch technology with erotic videos you can enter into.
For most people, the idea of interacting with a hologram still feels a lot like science fiction. But some companies are already pushing the envelope further, enabling users not only to see but actually feel 3D holographic projections as they’re beamed in real time.
PrimaVR [NSFW] has been working with adult hologram videos since 2015. Earlier this year, the team released the first version of its haptic holographic video player.
It enabled users to feel that haptic feedback through vibrations delivered by virtual reality controllers. The videos also reacted to the user's touch; pushing against the hologram actress' body displaced the virtual soft tissue, while a gentle slap resulted in what they described as a “visually pleasant jiggle.”
The company has since been making improvements and adding new features to the platform, such as a “virtual heartbeat” that can be felt when the user holds the VR controller against the hologram actor.
Holograms vs 360 video
The main difference between this holographic platform and the type of 360 videos that are becoming rather pervasive in VR porn, for example, is that 360 tends to restrict viewers to one PoV (Point of View) while holograms allow your head to move around much more freely, explains Anton Bailey, a PrimaVR spokesperson
Like the introduction of smells into the virtual experience, such features might seem a bit on the gimmicky side. However, it all adds to the immersive nature of the VR experience, while also helping to push the boundaries of the technology and envisage what might be possible in future, said Bailey.
“We love to focus on experimenting with crazy VR tech and be the first to introduce new features in adult VR entertainment,” he added. Such features play a crucial role in increasing the levels of responsiveness and interaction within VR experiences. This not only makes them more fun but also more engaging. Otherwise, we risk what’s sometimes called the “Swayze effect”—which refers to the passive feeling a user can get of just floating through a video.
Bailey concedes that most, if not all, of the current Internet-connected teledildonic devices are indeed rather gimmicky and not very widely used.
“Even though odors can trigger strong memories and create an emotional response, smell cartridges and olfactory output will probably have lesser importance for a majority of people. VR will need to be adopted by the masses before a VR compatible teledildonic peripheral, a ‘VR Fleshlight,' can become a hit,” he said.
Bringing your body into the scene
In the earlier demo, PrimaVR introduced the possibility for users to bring their own body into the hologram video by using the Leap Motion device. The team has since enhanced this feature by enabling those users to also alter their avatars' skin color, accommodating a wider range of ethnicities so they can experience a closer representation of their own body in virtual reality and/or enhance roleplaying possibilities.
The next step, however, is to make those representations more realistic and seamless, which is why the platform is also working on updating the tech to increase the resolution and video frame rate by the end of the summer.
This type of technology, according to Bailey, brings with it real possibilities for improving people’s sex lives.
“The possibility of modifying your avatar's look and sound adds another layer of emotional protection alongside physical distance, which enables more adventurous experimentation,” he explained.
He also pointed to the sheer quantity and variety of cybersex in early VR platforms like Second Life as an indicator of how adult content will be crucial in driving wider adoption of the technology:
“Facebook is betting heavily on social VR, and telepresence is surely one of the more important applications of VR. Together with teledildonics, it opens up new possibilities for cybersex, whether conducted by complete strangers or couples in a long distance relationship.”
Bailey speculates that in a more distant future, where people will spend more time in online virtual worlds, VR technology will allow people to experiment with different genders and identities in a social context.
“Perhaps some of the experimentation performed in the safety of a virtual world can carry over into the real world. Whether this will lead to a more loose self-identification is a good question. At the very least VR technology opens a door for increasing social harmony by allowing people to experience life from other people's point of view,” he said.
Image source: PrimaVR [NSFW]