NEW YORK—The old saw that porn lives at the leading edge of technological innovation continues to work its magic on the mainstream, as evidenced by an article Friday on CNN.com titled “In the tech world, porn quietly leads the way.” While adult entertainment has been decrying its relative lack of innovative spice of late, this time the argument has some juice.
The writer, Doug Gross, hit the salient points right off the bat. The release of the iPad, he said, has not only heralded a brave new world of “gaming, book and magazine reading and Web consumption,” but also much more. Porn was right there at launch, as well, streaming content directly to the new devices, “skipping the Apple store and its restrictions on salacious content.”
In doing so, he adds, it immediately reinvigorated the “widely acknowledged but seldom-spoken truth of the technology world: Whenever there's a new content platform, the adult-entertainment industry is one of the first to adopt it—if they didn't help create it in the first place.”
Adding meat to the bones of his argument, Gross cited two companies working hard to exploit technologies that have recently come into their own: cloud computing and 3-D.
Private Media Group has engaged the former for use with the iPad, as reported by AVN.com in early April.
“Ilan Bunimovitz is the CEO of Private Media Group, the company that announced the iPad porn offering, which uses cloud computing to store a customer's videos,” wrote Gross. “In effect, he's saying it's like an iTunes for porn—an online service that lets users buy and access a personal collection of adult videos via their iPads. Of course, the slate computer's browser can already be used to surf the internet for adult content.”
The other, One Dollar Production, based in Hong Kong, will start filing an adult movie in 3D in April that it has billed as the “world’s first 3-D erotic film,” complete with a reported $4 million budget. Depending on how one defines erotic, however, it is not quite accurate to say that this will be the first 3-D adult movie produced recently. Not by a long shot.
In fact, as AVN Senior Editor Mark Kernes pointed out in a feature article on porn's 3D history and future, published in November 2009, the current resurgence of interest in 3D porn is nothing new. Every few decades, just as in the mainstream, adult becomes enthralled with the possibilities of 3D. With the release and subsequent success of Avatar, porn sat up and took notice, just like everyone else.
Several studios have 3D movies in production, slated for imminent release, and a few have already been streeted, including last year’s interactive release, Tommy Gunn’s Cummin’ At You, and New Sensations’ Octopussy 3-D: A XXX Parody, the first straight adult feature in over a decade, which was released in April. In March, a gay movie, Whorrey Potter and the Sorcerer’s Balls, was released that made extensive use of “green-screen” special effects with adult 3D content.
There are many other companies, including Pink Visual, AEBN, Video Secrets and many others that have built their brands and business models on the expectation and fulfillment of a quick and efficient implementation of new technology. These examples and others only bolster the points made in the CNN article that the adult industry is serious about reclaiming its mantle as the first adopter of new tech.
For Ilan Bunimovitz, CEO of the aforementioned Private, being ready to launch when new technologies or tech-enabled devices roll out is not just desirable for adult companies, but obligatory.
"Every step of the way, when there's a new technology, we explore it," he told CNN. "In the adult business, many times the traditional venues are not available to us, so we have to be innovative to get our content to the consumer.”
That approach is all the more essential as adult entertainment continues to deal with the most serious economic downturn it has faced in decades, or maybe ever. While the global recession, a glut of free content, the scourge of piracy and a changing media environment take turns nipping at porn’s bottom line, the relentless advance of pioneering technologies is one of the areas that provides room for true optimism among not only porn’s ruling class, but also the unknown innovators who will surely make their entrepreneurial mark in the future.
"There's always something new," added Bunimovitz. "At any point in time, we'll be working on new initiatives. Some of them will flop and some of them will be big—but there's always something in the works.