As we saw at CES 2016 the idea of the connected sex toy is coming (no pun intended… ;-)) fast. They are hear with some very innovative ways of expanding their more usual functionality. The idea of the standard remote control is out the window now. With the toys to come you can use your phone to stimulate your partner by blowing, stroking or tapping the screen. It is a brave new world and one that should enrich the creators of these devices as well as the lives of the couples that buy them.
However, what about the other side of the industry? You know the one that feeds the backbone of the internet; porn? How will advances in technology affect the more personal side of the industry? These are all questions that are being asked now that it is ok to show off sex toys at the Consumer Electronics Show.
The answer is that it will impact those industries, but not in the way that people are thinking they will. For one, it is unlikely that Virtual Reality or connected devices will kill off brothels or strip clubs. They will change the way they do business in the same way the internet and sex dolls have, but it will not ever replace real human contact.
Some of the most successful strip clubs actually have web cams that you can subscribe to (for money) and join in the show from the comfort of your own home. Adding in a VR element to this is sure to drive up revenue because of the more immersive environment. There will still be people in the club, buying drinks, dances, massages and also booking time in the Champaign rooms so that revenue stream will not dry up.
The same thing can be said for brothels. They can sell virtual encounters to people as long as they have compatible devices to make extra money that they might be missing now. After all, how many people do not visit the brothel because of a sense of embarrassment, but might throw on VR glasses and... Cough… other hardware to have an intimate experience from afar?
The doom and gloom mind set when it comes to VR and connected devices from the sex industry is oddly out of place when you consider the fact that they have been the deciding factor for many standards. It was the adult film industry that decided the Beta Vs VHS AND Blu-ray Vs HD DVD debate. They should be doing the same thing now; decide the direction of the industry. Tell the world which VR tech is the best and then combine that with the right security functions to maintain privacy. They have the money and the interest to do this and they, the industry, knows it.
Personally I am looking forward to seeing how technology will change this market in the future… I am sure it will be one wild ride.