If you fret, like David Pogue of The New York Times, that post-Avatar 3D just isn’t catching on in homes, no worries. Penthouse and Playboy entered 2011 in a race to create the first three-dimensional porn TV channel. This is key because where pornography goes, other media follow.
Porn has been at the forefront of media for centuries. The daguerreotype, the first major photographic technique, was invented in 1835, and only 17 years later an estimated 40 percent of the photos sold in Paris were of nudes. Hot sales of risque books in the 1870s — more than 100,000 porn stories were bought each year in New York City — helped the publishing industry take root in America. Porn even decided which type of VCR you owned in the 1980s, after a Sony Beta and JVC VHS tape format battle. (Sony tried to prohibit porn on its tapes, JVC didn’t care, and the rest was history.) Which brings us to our century. Video formats have been stuttering online for a decade, but testing and enhancements by porn sites, competing furiously to give users the best viewing experience, helped refine the Internet streaming technology which allows you to watch clips at Hulu and CNN.com now.
So what could happen if Hugh Hefner and friends push porn into TV’s third dimension? No one admits to buying a $400 box just to watch sex, but innovation in the erotic arena could intrigue enough that device sales begin to scale. Analysts predict the piddly 3.2 million 3D TVs sold globally last year may grow to 91 million by 2014, but only if enough 3D content is produced to entice viewers. It’s no coincidence that the primary demo for porn and tech gadgetry is men in the prime of life. So if your hubby buys a 3D set for the basement, be proud — he’s likely an enthusiastic early adopter.
Image: Mi Pah