When the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a near global shutdown of public human activities, many found themselves struggling to adapt to what was far too prematurely called “the new normal.” Working from home instead of being among colleagues in a physical office space posed its set of problems. The absence of travel opportunities, escapes from the usual day-to-day, also started to mess with people’s psyches, their productivity, and their relationships. As the lockdown and quarantine grew, VR raised its hand and offered a solution. Well, really, a whole slew of solutions.
Finding Love in VR
Newly formed couples and relationships that were sidetracked or temporarily halted by the arrival of COVID have been given a second chance thanks to omnipresent communication apps like Zoom, Facebook, Snapchat, and WhatsApp. Elevating things to a hotter level than mere text-based flirting and innocent selfie shots, teledildonic technology is allowing people to pleasure each other physically while being separated in space. Whether used by a solo porn viewer to augment their viewing or by a pair of adults connecting to each other over chat, the heightened connection between each pleasurable sensation and the person providing them can make for a truly amazing experience. Devices from brands like Autoblow, Lovense, and Kiiroo are bringing a physical side to online intimacy, even during an era of social distancing.
Even beyond the satisfaction provided by VR porn, Virtual Reality adds even more options for the romantically isolated and, with hand-tracking bringing a greater ease of use, is feeling more and more natural with every passing year. Voice recognition and eye tracking have also added extra flexibility and allowed an easier adoption of VR tech by otherwise reluctant consumers. As erotic aids like those named above combine with gestural VR control and haptic developments – “smart-skin” membranes that simulate human touch, for example – we’ll be facing a radically different dating scene and culture once we collectively leave lockdown.
Much like vibrators were once taboo tools used in secret, so too is the concept of VR sex with an AI partner seeing less outright dismissal or rejection. You could soon be finding a date on the App store instead of social media. Sexual needs are almost universal and this period of relative inactivity has shown that we humans all have needs that cannot be met by solo pleasure alone.
The Race to Virtual Humans
Everyone can think of a truly horrible dating experience they (or perhaps a friend) had. Some have enough bad outings that they simply give up and embrace being a solo flyer. Opportunities to make connections with other humans may appear to be diminishing in the “real world” but Virtual Reality is providing something of a revolutionary alternative. Hybri offers a VR and AR environment in which you can create and customize a digital 3D humanoid companion. With sexual desire seemingly at the root of Hybri’s creation it’s no surprise that these characters can get quite wild and lascivious if you program them correctly. Also offering platonic companionship to users is Replika, an AI-equipped chatbot intended to provide companionship and conversation with solo users. Represented only by a head-and-shoulders portrait, Replikas aren’t as instantly attractive as your custom designed Hybri but presents another marvelous opportunity to expand your erotic horizons beyond the real tangible world in front of you.
Lockdowns have eased in many parts of the world and although some cities are still quarantining hard, at least there are increasing opportunities to connect with others through tech. Perhaps once we return from the extremely disruptive sideline adventure that is the COVID era, we’ll double date with a human friend and our respective new partners, each of them digital.