When trying to explain what the flip Mixed Reality means, you can always fall back on Star Wars, and the scene where R2-D2 beams out Princess Leia, in all her blue-tinted holographic glory.
Most of us still see holograms as the stuff of science fiction, but the truth is that if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a HoloLens they’re already a pretty solid-looking reality. What it isn’t yet, however, is widely available. As usual, however, the adult industry can be relied on to push the boundaries in popularising cutting-edge technology. That’s what CamSoda is attempting to do with the launch of Holo-Cam, which they also compare with the iconic Star Wars scene above.Star Wars is still the universal failsafe explainer for Holograms and #MixedReality Click To Tweet
Over the past year, I’ve been bowled over by some fantastic-looking Holograms. In spite of some limitations (most saliently its narrow field of view), the Microsoft HoloLens is a very impressive piece of kit that delivers a great mixed reality experience. What it is not, however, is a device you can go out and buy in the shops just yet (even if you could, it would set you back about $3,000, so hardly qualifies as an impulse buy).
So to me, the question where it comes to holograms is not so much one of “bridging the gap between science fiction and consumer technology”—as CamSoda claims to do with its Holo-Cam launch—but one of making the holographic experience accessible to those without the expensive hardware.
And judging from its just-released video, it looks like their workaround manages to do just that. The effect you see there is achieved by projecting live 3D holograms of the cam models onto the users’ real-time environments. And all you need to experience this is your own smartphone or tablet plus an inexpensive pyramid projector, which can be purchased online for as little as $1.50. After accessing the live stream, users affix the 3D hologram projector to their phone or tablet, switch into landscape mode, and the show will start automatically.The question where it comes to holograms is how to make those experiences accessible without the expensive hardware Click To Tweet It remains to be seen whether any of these go beyond their obvious novelty value and enter the mainstream. At the very least, however, they are adding to the broader industry conversation Click To Tweet
Although this is being billed as the equivalent of when Obi-wan Kenobi watched the hologram of Princess Leia in Star Wars, the fact is that I’m not entirely comfortable with thinking about the two of them in that way. Apart from that, however, there are a few marked differences that might be worth pointing out.
The holograms you see on CamSoda are in full color as opposed to strongly blue-tinted, and they are not pre-recorded. The whole idea is that users get to interact with the models as the live shows unfold. This can be done either with voice commands or via instructions typed on their computer, which are then carried out by the performer and displayed in real time via the hologram.Most of us still see holograms as the stuff of science fiction, but the truth is that if you're lucky enough to get your hands on a HoloLens they're already a pretty solid-looking reality Click To Tweet
The size of the projected holograms are about half that of the display screen, so we’re not talking life-size projections, or at least not yet. However, it is easy to see how getting closer to 1:1 ratio would help make this a more immersive and realistic experience, so CamSoda is giving fans a taster of what that might look like at the 2017 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas on January 18-21, projecting some of its most well-known models on a 4-foot display and allowing users to join them and be broadcast in turn to the Holo-Cam.
“This technology allows users to interact with cam girls in an immersive experience like never before,” said Daron Lundeen, President of CamSoda. “Now users can beam a live model into their very own environment through their own phone/tablet. This is a huge milestone not only for us but the industry at large.”
The Holo-Cam will initially be available during weekly cam shows or upon request for private shows in CamSoda house, where the company’s filming technology is lodged. Users can either request a private 3D holographic show at the usual rates charged by the site, or take advantage of the weekly interactive shows which will be free for the first month. There is as yet no date set for the weekly interactive shows to go live, however, although I was told it would be “in the very near future.”
This is the latest in a series of technology-based products trialed by CamSoda over the course of the past year. These included including a virtual reality experience that allowed users to broadcast live adult entertainment directly to their headsets and BlowCast, which they dubbed the “iTunes of Blowjobs” and offered a catalog of simulated blowjobs from renowned porn stars and amateurs experienced via teledildonics.
It remains to be seen whether any of these go beyond their obvious novelty value and enter the mainstream. At the very least, however, they are adding to the broader industry conversation around the democratization of augmented, virtual, and mixed reality technologies.
This article originally appeared on the Future of Sex website
— FutureofSex (@FutureofSex) December 15, 2016
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Alice Bonasio is a VR Consultant and Tech Trends’ Editor in Chief. She also regularly writes for Fast Company, Ars Technica, Quartz, Wired and others. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow @alicebonasio and @techtrends_tech on Twitter.