Apple Vision Pro: Adult Industry VR Pros Weigh In

Apple Vision Pro: Adult Industry VR Pros Weigh In

CUPERTINO, Calif. — Last week, Apple unveiled its much-anticipated VR/AR headset, the Apple Vision Pro.

The headset — which will not become available commercially until at least early 2024 and has an initial MSRP of $3,499 — has immediately become the subject of much opinion, conjecture, speculation and fascination.

It could hardly have been otherwise, as the Apple Vision Pro must live up to the hype and expectations of several intersecting demographics: Apple fanatics, VR evangelists, “next iPhone” trend watchers and competitive early adopters.

As is the case whenever a new technology — or the promise of a radical take on an existing one — emerges, some informed eyes are turning in the direction of the adult industry, compelled by the widespread, perhaps-myth-perhaps-not notion that “porn leads all tech development.”

XBIZ consulted several adult industry VR insiders to get their take on whether and how the promise of the Apple Vision Pro may impact the sector, or vice versa.

‘A More Immersive and Enjoyable VR Experience’

For SexLikeReal’s Alex Nash, the Apple Vision Pro is an impressive piece of technology that promises to deliver a high-quality VR experience.

“From what I’ve seen and read about it, it seems like a significant step forward in terms of image quality, comfort, and usability,” Nash says. “The device’s high-resolution displays, adjustable lenses and built-in sensors all contribute to a more immersive and enjoyable VR experience.”

For an adult content creator such as himself, Nash notes, the introduction of the Apple Vision Pro opens up a whole new world of possibilities. The device’s advanced features, such as eye and hand tracking, will allow for “much more interactive and engaging experiences,” he predicts, adding, “This means that I can create content that feels more realistic and intuitive, which will ultimately lead to a better user experience.”

Nash also praises the headset’s winning combination of VR and AR technologies, giving it “the potential to blend virtual and real-world environments seamlessly.”

“The combination of VR and AR technologies along with passthrough capabilities presents exciting opportunities for creating unique and engaging experiences for users in the adult industry,” he says.

WankzVR’s Darrell Rosebush was one of the many tech insiders keeping a close eye on the June 5 unveiling of the Apple Vision Pro.

“As we watched the demo, we could feel the excitement grow,” Rosebush tells XBIZ. “Apple’s commitment to spatial computing and the shift to more mixed-reality experiences, blending the real world with virtual ones, is very exciting. The work they have done with eye tracking is nothing short of revolutionary.”

For the virtual content sector in general, he suggests, Apple’s entry into the hardware race is a net gain.

“For a glorious moment, the world stopped talking about AI, as VR and AR captured global attention,” Rosebush enthuses. “The introduction of the Vision Pro is a good thing and will put more faces in headsets.”

Even though practically everyone outside of Apple’s Cupertino headquarters only has last week’s demo to go by, based on the released specs, Rosebush thinks the Vision Pro will make it easier for users to enjoy adult content and to navigate in the virtual space.

“Without the need for bulky controllers, this can free up hands for other activities,” he points out. “Apple really is trying to redefine what it means to live, work and be entertained within the virtual space and I feel VR producers will work to adjust to this strategy too. We could see people using spatial computing at work, at home, as they travel, etc. Apple certainly has a way of capturing attention and influencing how we use technology. I feel there will still be a place for other standalone headsets like the upcoming Meta Quest 3, but Apple has certainly thrown down the gauntlet. People are paying attention.”

VR Bangers CEO Daniel Abramovich, an avid Apple enthusiast, is frank in admiring the company’s consistent ability to push the boundaries of technology.

“They have certainly accomplished that once again with their latest creation,” Abramovich declares. “The overall design, features and the meticulous craftsmanship they have incorporated are truly awe-inspiring.”

Abramovich also points out that Apple’s website does not refer to the technology as “a headset,” calling it instead “Apple’s First Spatial Computer.”

For Abramovich, this is a strategic move demonstrating Apple’s awareness that it is entering the market later than competitors like Meta’s VR headset, and prompting it to position its product as “a computer for our faces.”

This approach, he adds, “is undeniably ingenious, considering that consumers are willing to spend $3,500 on computers. Hence, it’s logical to believe that they would also consider investing in this innovative spatial computer.”

Industry vet and VR evangelist Brian Shuster (Utherverse) concurs, explaining, “The Vision Pro is not really an AR/VR headset as much as it is a new kind of computer system that includes a groundbreaking new kind of monitor, advanced processing capabilities and integration of mobile apps, which will change the nature of work and entertainment.”

Although Shuster thinks that the device “was not revealed well and the messaging around it was downright awful,” he believes that the Vision Pro nevertheless “is going to become a massively successful new product line for Apple.”

2049 Entertainment’s Anna Lee, another industry VR veteran and longtime collaborator with Shuster, declares herself “personally extremely excited” for the Vision Pro.

“This is the beginning of what I feel is truly immersive entertainment and computing experiences,” Lee opines. “My hope had always been to merge technologies into our existing space through AR with a headset that appears to solve many of the problems I personally had with traditional VR headsets. The Vision Pro does that.”

Price Points and Tipping Points

All of the VR insiders consulted by XBIZ commented on the steep $3,499 price tag for the Apple Vision Pro, citing it as a crucial factor that could determine whether it becomes “the next iPhone” or just another Zune.

While SexLikeReal’s Nash sees the price as “potentially a barrier for some consumers who may not be able to afford such a high price point,” Grooby’s Steven Grooby is rather more blunt.

“I haven’t read about it other than it costs $3499,” Grooby says. “It’s got no relevance to what we do at this point because I don’t believe people will buy it at that price, and it’s probably just a test by Apple before they then turn around and release a properly priced consumer model.”

WankzVR’s Rosebush also calls the listed price “a hefty one, especially for those just discovering VR and AR” and thinks it could be a speed bump for casual users.

2049’s Lee agrees that the price point leaves a lot to be desired.

“That, along with lack of education of the general population, may result in poor adoption,” she says. “It will take time for people to ‘get it.’ There are those in my social circle currently who are quite tech-savvy but are still comparing it to traditional VR headsets. They don’t quite get it. This isn’t VR. This is spatial computing.”

Still, Lee is confident that the innovative device “will pave the way for advancement in wearable tech and push innovation forward.”

Abramovich shares her guarded optimism about the potential game-changing nature of the device.

“In my opinion, the new Apple Vision Pro represents a significant paradigm shift in the industry,” he tells XBIZ. “Apple has a distinct advantage in marketing compared to Meta, as they possess a profound understanding of how to effectively promote and sell products in a manner that generates immense anticipation and demand, even at premium price points. This expertise enables them to create a captivating experience that entices consumers to eagerly await the product’s release. Apple’s extensive and well-established developer community also holds tremendous potential for providing a significant uplift to all those developers. With increased development support, the growth of the VR market can receive a substantial boost, especially considering that until now, Meta has been the primary driver of progress in this field.”

Utherverse’s Shuster is even more guarded in his prediction for the Vision Pro’s place in VR adoption.

“It is true that the Vision Pro is capable of virtual reality displays, and so in that way it is an advancement for the VR industry, but I don’t see the XR capabilities of this device being a true game changer for the foreseeable future,” he tells XBIZ. “Instead, this device will get an advanced headset into the hands of consumers, and thus allow companies to begin to build XR components into their offerings. This will likely take the form of small VR features in an otherwise standard app, but since the user will have a headset on already, they will not feel that the VR feature is a burden. In other words, it will lower the overhead of having people view XR materials.”

For Shuster, as AR and VR gain some additional traction, people “will begin to see more and more need to have a proper headset in their daily experience. When that happens, we will start to see the typical tech-adoption curve that will blow the Vision Pro up as a category of hardware all its own.”

The tipping point, he notes, will happen when major tech companies “sprint into the space to chase Apple, and at that point, VR offerings and Metaverse offerings — such as my company’s — will explode.”

The Sex Factor

Adult VR content creators like Nash are also enthusiastic about some of the innovations that the Apple Vision Pro may make standard.

Nash notes, for example, that the Vision Pro’s eye-tracking technology “allows the device to track the user’s gaze and adjust the display accordingly, which can lead to more realistic and engaging experiences,” something that he highlights as a boon for intimate content.

Rosebush finds some of the new features “as exciting as they are scary.”

“The eye and body motion tracking is simply incredible,” Rosebush explains. “The system almost knows what you are going to click on before you do it. The EyeSight feature where your own eyes are displayed on the front of the headset is neat, and Apple has done quite a bit to make people feel more connected to the outside world while in a headset. The feeling of vulnerability while inside VR is certainly diminished. The fact that virtual objects displayed inside the Vision Pro have weight and cast a shadow is also very cool. They have gone to great lengths to combat motion sickness while in a headset. I think all these elements and more will come together nicely for a premium experience.”

Abramovich declares himself “genuinely enthusiastic” about the see-through feature, which “allows for the creation of immersive VR experiences where users can observe virtual models within their own living spaces,” a feature of obvious relevance to adult content.

Lee — whose company is named after the 2017 “Blade Runner” sequel showcasing advanced virtually-enhanced experiences — says she cannot wait to experiment on “how the AR aspect of it will work with tasks from watching movies to FaceTime calls.”

One important caveat around this optimism is Apple’s long-standing reluctance to include adult content as part of its content ecosystem, a bias that goes back to the foundational Steve Jobs era.

Should adult creators be worried about it in regard to the Vision Pro?

“Short answer, yes, long answer no,” says Rosebush. “Like many companies developing new hardware and technology, Apple is fully aware of how it can be used. Their stance has not stopped users from accessing adult content on iPhones, and as the VR industry has grown, they can’t deny that both gaming and adult content have played a part. In the early days of the Oculus — before they went all Meta — the original VR godfather, Palmer Luckey, mused how VR porn was part of the equation. Apple has simply introduced the masses to a larger virtual world.”

Nash is hopeful that Apple will continue to provide a platform for all types of content creators. 

“As long as content is legal and appropriately labeled, it should be available to those who want to access it,” he says. “Ultimately, it’s up to individual consumers to decide what type of content they want to consume, and I believe that it’s important to provide options for everyone.”

Abramovich correctly points out that Meta’s similar demonstrated bias against adult content has not impeded the progress of adult VR thus far.

“Nothing can stop us from pushing the VR market forward,” he asserts.

“I expect that the market competition will force Apple to allow this content,” adds Shuster. “Apple has a real first-mover advantage, but it will take time for content providers to meet the end-user demand. While that is happening, other companies will notice the changing landscape and hopefully they will be adult-friendly.”

Lee concludes, “I realize that we as adult industry producers and creators are in for an uphill battle in terms of truly unlocking the capabilities of the headset with direct access to our content/products. I do hope that, in time, Apple will loosen some of its restrictions. Dare to dream, right?”

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