06.03.13 8:45 AM ET
Adult Entertainment Companies Put Google Glass Technology in Their Sights
Imagine watching your favorite porno with hands-free control. No more lube on the remote or keyboard!
Google Glass could take the POV concept to whole new levels, and this is particularly relevant in porn. No more awkward over the shoulder camera, with a camera operator breathing down a performer's neck trying to get that spot-on-POV without being the performer himself. Now an untrained camera operator, an actor, can wear these Google Glasses and obtain the perfect perspective while hands-free to guide the action.
This has the potential to change the way content is being created, and by whom.
Digital expansion of porn in the app market is leading the way. With millions of customers and more than 7,000 adult apps, Mikandi is a leading adult app store for Android and is currently developing adult apps for Google Glass. "As far as I know we are the only adult company with the device right now,” said Mikandi co-founder Jennifer McEwen. “We got it about a week and a half ago. As we are developing applications for it, we are discovering that while Glass is an amazing device and has a lot of potential, it's in its infancy right now, so we are somewhat limited in what we can do with it. We are really interested in building interactive applications and right now that doesn't seem possible with the software. Also, because it's so young right now, it's kind of hard to predict where this will go. So what we tend to do with new or emerging technology, we'll develop something very simple at first, and as we discover more about that technology we'll grow with it."
McEwen pointed out that it could be interesting to develop interactive apps with cam networks, enabling a cam model to "interact with her fans through this device or you can see her point of view for one of her shows. It would be interesting, so if there are any cam networks out there interested in innovating at this stage, we'd love to hear from them."
Mikandi’s other co-founder, Jesse Adams, hints at a new app designed for Google Glass: "We're about to launch in a couple of days. Right now we are experimenting with POV, because it’s the easiest way to do it first. It's a really good communication device, for sending and receiving data and messages. Foreplay apps, couples and adult flirting apps will be a lot of fun with this thing."
Perhaps this is the future of porn: up close and personal. I am curious to see what this new app does; it may be the beginning of a new genre. Of course, as both Mikandi co-founders acknowledged, Google Glass—while ripe with potential—does have some limitations and not just in software but socially as well.
McEwen, is worried about some of the limitations Google will place on allowing this kind of content. "We are concerned about Google blocking our content, so we are going through their terms with a magnifying glass,” she said. “We really want to make sure we play within their rules in a responsible way—that's a concern of ours."
Another concern, expressed by Adams, is "what if you're wearing the glasses and want to take naked pictures and share them with your girlfriend. In Google Hangout, there are rules against posting adult content on Google +, but when it's a private hangout is Google actually going to comb through your personal private photos and say you can't post nude photos on your private hangout or will they care if it's private? We aren't sure what the answer is yet, until people start doing it and open that Pandora's box."
By default, the glasses share everything privately, so users have to choose with whom to share with among their circle of friends, or they can choose to share publicly.
It's not just app companies that are looking to the future: adult production companies are also trying to stay one step ahead by making sure they're ready for this emerging technology.
In preparation for the widespread use of Google Glass, adult production company Pink Visual's director of public relations, Quentin Boyer, said the company plans "to create content both with and for Glass. The ‘with’ part is pretty obvious in some ways, because one of the primary uses of Glass for many people will be the hands-free, voice-activated camera, which is capable of shooting both stills and video. As to the content and apps that we will create for Glass, we’re presently discussing options with a developer who is participating in the Explorer program, but that’s all still in the ‘idea stage’ at this point."
Pink Visual currently has a working relationship with Mikandi, and I'm interested in seeing if these two join forces where Google Glass is concerned. With the flood of amateur content generated by Pink Visual and this new technology, we could be in for some very interesting POV-style content.
Some adult performers in the business tend to think there will be a shift in amateur POV series. Adult actress Alana Evans certainly expects to see some shifts take place. "Having been in the adult film industry for over 15 years,” she said, “I've seen how technology has changed many aspects of how we create our product."
(That's something I can relate to. I remember when Best Buy started selling high-quality camcorders, and suddenly the guy next door builds himself a website and starts hiring porn girls to come over to his place for scenes. I've personally experienced this. A former agent sent me out to a shoot, with no warning about the amateur nature of the proposed scene. All I knew was that it was a new director filming his POV line for a website he was working on. From the moment I arrived at the apartment complex in North Hollywood, I had a feeling it was less than professional. When the director, who also doubled as my scene partner, lighting guy, and webmaster, started fawning over me like a fanboy and gushed about his day job at Blockbuster, I felt so uneasy about the situation that I apologized and left. I dropped that agent shortly thereafter.)
I imagine there will be a dramatic shift in the creation of porn, and maybe there will be a POV boom of this nature when Google Glass really hits the market next year. However, Pink Visual's Boyer doesn't see that much change occurring. "I don’t see it having that big an impact on porn itself,” he said. “If you look at how much technology has changed in the last 40 years, and how relatively little porn has changed over that same period of time, I think it suggests that what technology really dictates is how, when, and where porn is consumed and distributed."
Boyer also speculated that Google Glass may encourage more piracy, because people will use Glass to capture images of whatever they please, including copyrighted images displayed in public." As with all new technology, I am sure we'll see a growing concern for how it's being used and whether or not it's violating the law.
It's no secret that porn drives technology forward. From the days of VHS to our digital era, our sexual appetites demand fast, convenient, and, more importantly, discreet methods we're willing to pay for. Yet, at $1,500 a pop, I don't expect to see a lot of people wearing these glasses out in public. That's more expensive than an introductory MacBook Pro and not everyone will be able to afford that. On the flip side, for newbie porn producers, that's a lot cheaper than a high-end camera.
Editor's note: Mikandi released its first Google Glass app "TitsAndGlass" today, though it may be the first and last graphic adult app for Glass due to some brand new changes in Goggle's policy. The changes came after Mikandi created the app they claim was in line with Google's previous guidelines. Since the app is already live Mikandi intends to alter it to comply with the new polices. As Jesse Adams, Mikandi co-founder states on their blog: "Google changed its policy over the weekend to ban adult content on all Glassware."
The Daily Beast reached out to Google for a comment on this and was given general press statements from a spokesperson: "Our Explorer Program makes users active participants in evolving Glass ahead of a wider consumer launch. In keeping with this approach, we've updated our developer policies. We look forward to learning more from our users as we update the software and evolve our policies in the weeks and months ahead. Our policies make it clear that Glass does not allow Glassware content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts, or sexually explicit material. Any Glassware that violates this policy will be blocked from appearing on Glass."