Virtual Reality Porn: Oculus Won't Block

Facebook-owned Oculus VR has no plans to prevent the adult entertainment industry from using its Rift virtual reality headset, which is scheduled to launch as a consumer product within the first quarter of 2016, according to Oculus founder Palmer Luckey.

Asked about plans to block any X-rated content or apps during a panel at the first Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference in San Jose, Calif., on Monday, Luckey responded: “The rift is an open platform. We don’t control what software can run on it,” adding: “And that’s a big deal.”

Luckey’s remarks stood out as most of his fellow panelists tried to dodge controversial questions around topics like adult entertainment as well as motion sickness and other side effects of using virtual reality headsets.

Samsung’s virtual reality g.m. and VP, Nick DiCarlo, instead tried to focus on the traction that his company is already seeing for the Gear VR, a $200 headset that works in conjunction with select Samsung mobile phones. DiCarlo said that the Gear VR will be available in all major Best Buy stores across the U.S. by the end of this summer. He added that Samsung is focused on bringing mainstream content to the device through its Milk VR service. “Milk VR is being programmed as a major media outlet,” Di Carlo said.

Samsung’s efforts are somewhat undercut by Google’s Cardboard initiative, which allows consumers to build their own VR headsets for existing Android phones, or buy cheap headsets for as little as $20. But Clay Bavor, VP of product management at Google Cardboard, argued Monday that his company’s initiative could help competitors like Samsung and Oculus as well. “Cardboard is a good introduction,” he argued, adding that it gives people a taste for what higher-end systems can deliver.

Sixense CEO Amir Rubin agreed, calling Cardboard an “icebreaker.” Rubin’s company works with more than 16,000 developers to build virtual reality apps. He said Monday that less than 20% of these developers are building traditional games, with many others looking to use VR for education, health and other areas. Affordable hardware will drive the adoption in all of these areas, predicted Rubin: “You will have hundreds of millions of VR-enabled phones in consumers’ hands in the next two to three years.”

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