Soft On Demand, a hilariously named porn company in Japan, has opened virtual reality rooms in Tokyo.
Visitors can rent soundproofed rooms per hour (550 yen, $4.70 USD) or per day (3,150 yen, $26.90 USD). Available for virtual perusal are porn DVDs, manga, and general internet access.
Soft On Demand proudly touts "cleanliness" and a "fulfilling environment" on its billboards. To celebrate their grand opening, they are offering free hourly VR sessions for a limited time.
It was really only a matter of time before virtual reality porn came about. Though, not terribly surprising since the porn industry has been responsible for a lot of entertainment changes. In fact, porn is the reason we have Blu-Ray over HD-DVD and ended up with VHS over Betamax.
Porn isn't new to VR either, and it's only mildly surprising that it took this long for VR rooms. Earlier this year, the Japanese company Illusion created an entire virtual reality sex suit as an April Fools prank. I'd link the gif, but it was too funny to keep watching.
The Illusion VR was a full body suit with stimuli and an Oculus Rift VR headset to simulate a full sexual experience. Supposedly it retailed for $400 and sold out immediately.
Virtual reality has had plenty of real life blunders. Can you imagine the porn related blunders that could happen?
On second thought, let's not.
In other, less graphic news, virtual reality isn't getting any less strange.
Get Your Head Cut Off
There's an app that lets you experience the French Revolution in all its head-separating detail. The Guillotine Simulator places you in the middle of a French execution where you stand as a convict in line for the guillotine, able to look around to see the crowd reactions, before experiencing the blade coming down on your neck. To add to the illusion, observers would hand-chop the headset-wearing victim right at the blade drop. Watch the video to see them flinch at the moment of truth.
Ever wonder what it would be like to be the opposite sex? The Machine to Be Another hooked up Oculus Rift displays and cameras to pairs of women and men. Each pair would then explore their bodies, synchronizing their movements to create the optical illusion and trick the brain into thinking they were one another. The experiment's main purpose is to investigate issues such as gender identity.
Experience A Migraine
As a migraine sufferer myself, no thanks. But to the rest of the world who live migraine-free, the app simulates a migraine experience in most of its horrifying glory. Excedrin created a virtual reality experience to replicate the symptoms of several migraine sufferers so that their close ones would understand what they go through. Since it's virtual reality, they were able to replicate most of the visual symptoms such as light sensitivity, aura, and disorientation. What's not easy to replicate is the brain fog, nausea, or extreme pain that often go with migraines.
Hide From Nazis
In order to educate the younger generation about the Holocaust and also keep their attention, Jonathan Hirsch and Danny Abrahms are bringing technology to Anne Frank's life. The virtual reality movie, simply titled Anne, will recreate her room in Amsterdam where she hid with her family during World War 2 and where she wrote her famous diary. The Anne Frank Foundation had previously created a 10 minute virtual reality tour for the museum in 2015. Most of the public is unaware of how large the space actually was or how Anne lived her life, so the filmmakers are trying to recreate history and hoping to bring people into her world as though they were "a fly on the wall."
Save A Kitten
Or, if you need a pick-me-up, how about saving some defenseless kittens from rooftops. Namco Bandai made a virtual reality experience that involves saving a kitten who has been stranded on a plank overlooking the city. Fear of heights sufferers, beware.
Virtual reality can be strange but its physical effects haven't been widely studied and we don't really know how harmful it could be. Obviously there are issues with outside stimuli and injuring yourself while wearing the headset, as can be seen in VR reaction posts on Reddit, but VR could also have a negative effect on eyes and motion sickness. Overuse could even lead to neurological damage. And if we've learned one thing about human nature, we aren't exactly good with moderation. On the other hand, it's also doing some great things out there.
What do you think about virtual reality uses?