Sex Like Real CEO talks with me about VR porn, video streaming and Deo VR player

Last week I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Alex Novak, the CEO of Sex Like Real. As you may understand by the name of the company, he doesn’t work in the training sector, but in the adult entertainment one. He got me curious because he doesn’t have a website like the awesome guys of VR Porn or PornFoxVR that I have already interviewed, but he offers an app, an executable that you launch on your VR runtime to stream VR porn content. That’s pretty original.

Furthermore, his company works a lot on video optimization (especially stitching and this kind of stuff) and so we had the opportunity to talk a lot about the technical process to obtain awesome virtual reality videos. And he knows what he’s talking about: his company was the one launching Deo VR. Do you remember Deo VR? It is one of the best video players out there and one of the first products that I reviewed on this website.

I had the opportunity to interview Alex on Skype and talk with him about his app, videos in VR, the VR adult entertainment ecosystem and DeoVR. If you’re interested in these topics… well, enjoy the reading…

Hello Alex. Could you please introduce my readers to your company Sex Like Real?

SexLikeReal is basically sex like real in VR interpretation. We have made VR porn 1-click away with SLR VR app and 10,000 users seem to appreciate that on a daily basis.

We hacked the matrix to let people watch VR porn in some easy way.
You don’t have to download 10Gb files any longer, do crazy VR player setups and somehow manage your 20 most favorite videos from different studios on two of your HMDs.
It’s like iTunes of VR porn where users can choose from 4,000 videos from dozens of studios and play it with 1 click. No additional setup or downloads required. Also, many videos are significantly better within the app since we do professional alignments and corrections in playback software.

Also, we use customized meshes for specific studios to get proper projections of their videos in VR. Something that is not an option in stand-alone VR video players.

There’s some science behind VR porn.

It sounds really cool. So, your priorities are usability and quality, aren’t they?

We get the most we can from VR porn videos from a tech perspective. We have made content easy to access with dedicated software and professional setups on the back end, now we are significantly enhancing videos by fixing stereoscopic alignments. It’s possible to make some state of the art content even from shitty videos with proper VR focused re-mastering.

The nature of VR porn is that studios are great at making the performances you see in videos, but their weak side is VR itself from both technical and conceptual perspectives. We try to help them with that. Studios are visiting our office to get their stuff improved. I believe our version of PSVR content is better than what you get from studio’s site.
Many studios don’t actually test their videos before they release those. We do test those with every headset.

Human’s eyes and brains are very flexible in terms of adjusting to the environment they perceive, there was once an experiment where they flipped the up with the down for a person using some special glasses. In some few days, he was easily navigating around as nothing has happened. Same applies to VR videos (but your VR porn sessions are short) and if the video isn’t done properly, your freshly re-adjusted eyes will hurt crazily once you take your HMD off. Of course, this discourages users, some might describe it as a pain and feeling nauseous and never come back to VR. We, on the other hand, make sure they do come back.

Could you explain to my readers the most common problems you find in VR videos and how you solve them?

The most simple stuff is that cameras were not aligned properly and that caused horizontal and vertical misalignments. We do offset those in SLR app player so viewers see it right without any setups on their end. Videos become good from being unwatchable.

The big deal is that we are starting to fix misaligned focal plane which is wrong in almost every video. Videos become great for being good. We have also added a tilt option that allows you to align your body’s position to match actor’s POV. The zoom option allows you to get closer to action. So you already get some interactivity. Recently we have enabled head tracking to change zoom.

What about the various distortions I’ve seen in some VR porn videos?

At the moment those distortions are not that bad like it was in the past and those are inherent to fish-eye lenses. We plan to get that fixed as well. We have already tested it, and wer’re working on logistics to get it implemented to the whole library.

Why did you choose to do a VR app when everyone is making a VR website?

SexLikeReal.com was the first real aggregator with state of the art filters, pornstars tracking, up to date content. Then we evolved to VR app and iTunes business model. SLR website is still the core hub for VR porn community. It doesn’t really have competitors.

sex like real vr interview
Sex Like Real app initial menu. You can use your Oculus Touch to select the video of your interest. Notice that there is some little censorship in this photo…
Well… that’s a bold statement. Actually, there are a lot of other VR porn websites that are doing pretty well…

None of those is even close to 4,000 VR porn library, we are the first one to release updates from studios, transcoding each video in 30 different versions to make it compatible with every platform, with a full track of pornstars and niches.

People might get their first VR porn on other sites, but eventually, they end up at SLR website and app for the best quality and product value. If you compare product we have no real competitor. There are sites that have better Google rankings or media coverage, but that’s the only advantage.

But the problem of the app is for instance that on websites there is the incognito mode, while the app has to be installed and remains there on the hard drive, in the recent apps of Oculus Home, etc… A website is easier and safer to watch porn.

WebVR has serious limitations. It’s not even ok for VR porn streaming.

On the contrary, a native app for each platform provides you the very best VR experience. If you want privacy you simply don’t have a good option to enjoy the advancements of VR porn.

Not sure if it even makes sense, but the app is also really easy to install and uninstall. I don’t really see such a privacy issue. The icon and name of the app are discreet, we’ll soon add pin-code protection to the app, so no one can launch it without knowing the pin. And the billing part is also discreet for the final user.

You say that you have 10000 users a day, in a moment where VR is not doing well. So I guess that you agree on the fact that porn is one of the most important fields of applications of VR… maybe the most important one for consumers alongside with gaming, don’t you?

Not sure if I’m ok with making bold statements, but I’m happy for how things are going in VR porn.

The only thing that really concerns me is that many users who try or already tried VR porn for the first time have great chances to do it wrong because of not proper setup or poor quality content. The same applies to VR as well. People try it and leave because it’s hard to enjoy it if you just grab the first available thing.

I’ve experienced some state of the art VR in many areas and it’s overwhelming. But it’s really hard to make it available for everyone who has got or about to get VR headset. That’s a problem no one has an answer yet.

sex like real vr interview
A video playing inside Sex Like Real app. Do you recognize the graphics of the player? It is the same of DeoVR!
I’ve read a lot about the VR market. But maybe you can give me some insights specific to the VR porn market and its future trends. Is it in a trough of disappointment as the rest of VR?

I fundamentally disagree with you on referring to VR as “disappointment”. Low adoption rate can’t undermine those great things already created in VR.

In previous years too many people had too high expectations about this technology. Also, the tech bubble is a known issue and it had direct impact on VR. True believers in VR seem to be happy with how things go.

Anyway, I don’t see a big difference between mainstream VR and porn, rather than our product has fewer communication channels and it’s more complicated to keep up with all the infrastructure things like billings and rules. Also, no VR porn company has ever got any VC money.

VR porn has evolved a lot over the past 3 years. Right now we have got state of the art videos that you can actually enjoy. Back in the days, there were 3 videos a week, now on some days, we have around 10 of those per day.

An interesting fact is that it’s hard for VR videos, in general, to get traction with the audience. Porn seems to be the most viewed video content in VR.

The market itself is very competitive now from both production and distribution perspectives. It’s tech-driven and very creative. The winner takes it all. A number of studios stopped producing because it’s hard to keep up with state of the art content. Also, VR tube sites are getting out of the business because those days it’s not enough just to put some VR videos together on the website.

As for trends, the first shemale videos were released in 2017 and people seem to be quite interested in those. Gay content gets really little traction. It’s really interesting phenomena that gay VR content is in little demand.

What is in your opinion the short and medium term future of VR porn? What can we expect to see improving? Is there any disruption down the road?

The first generation of rig tech videos is about to reach its peak with 4K 60 FPS stereo as current standard. Soaring stand-alone headsets coming this year with inside-out tracking will have a very positive impact. 4K HMDs as well.

The first light field porn videos might emerge in late 2018, early 2019. That would be the next-gen VR porn. Lightfield videos are really overwhelming. Finally, the first professional 180 and 360 stereo cameras are about to get a release, which should lower the entry barrier for producers.

The biggest challenge for the whole VR industry is low adoption rate. Really big tech disruptions in VR are linked to making VR mass-market. VR porn contributes a lot to make that happen. Personally, I’ve referred a lot of people into VR by showcasing them SLR app on all those big tech shows like CES or IFA.

What about augmented reality porn? Currently, there is almost nothing… what’s your vision on it?
Hololens ar device
A ballerina is seen through the HoloLens. That’s cool, but… what about some AR porn content?

AR is another interesting technology. I really like how it evolves. As for now, we are focused solely on VR.

AR is a bit more further out. It’s very impressive in those rare examples we see today. It’s kind of seamless with VR, but right now Virtual Reality has passed the “bearable” level. VR is in the point where you can have great experiences and genuine feels. AR is a bit more technologically complicated, the whole thing as optics, displays, how you shoot photons into the eyes, how you track environment, how you wear something comfortable on your face so it’s socially accepted. While VR is here now, AR will come down the road sometime soon.

DeoVR was a great player, I loved it. Will you update it again? How will it be? When will it happen?

DeoVR was a by-product. We first released SLR app 1.0 and then separated the player into a stand alone product just because there was no good VR player back in the days.

DeoVR is the best-ranked player while it was released years later than 2 main competitors

As for now, SLR app contains more advanced in-built VR video player people can use to play back their local files. We are completely re-writing the code, you should expect significantly updated player with new features soon.

sex like real vr interview
SLR is powered by the awesome Deo VR player (Image by Sex Like Real)
Can you give us some sneak peek of the release date and the new features of DeoVR 2?

We will send you the beta soon.

Why did you choose to work in virtual reality? And in porn?

VR is the best thing in my life. Most of the people in VR are the most talented people I’ve met in my life. It’s an absolute pleasure to stand at the beginning of this great tech. We have the best VR streaming tech in the industry, much better than tech giants. Some companies got millions in funding years ago to do exactly what we did but failed. We are basically pushing our tech further with porn money. The world is cruel, you have to figure out how to make money at some point.

Big companies that do enterprise VR streaming are overwhelmed with our tech and VR porn as well

What is a lesson that you have learned in these years and that you want to share with my readers?

The world becomes what you want it to be if you can manage to put the right things together. If your thinking is positive it’s the best way to get along with dedicated folks to work with you and get some appreciation from people.


I found this interview very very interesting because it gave me a lot of interesting technical information. I think that the main takeaways from it are:

  • VR videos require a proper shooting and a proper post-processing to guarantee the viewer an optimal experience on every platform;
  • It is possible to “fix” a video that has not been properly shot with some post-processing magic: for instance, it is possible to fix the misalignment between cameras;
  • If a video is not shown in the right way, the user may have some eyes discomfort;
  • A streaming app at the moment is better than a website for what concerns this kind of optimizations that is possible to offer. Furthermore, WebVR is still in its infancy and has currently too many problems: an app is surely better from a usability standpoint, even if I think that it is worse for what concerns privacy;
  • VR porn is growing and evolving very fast. Competition is fierce and it is easy to fail because of it;
  • We’ll see 6 DOF porn videos in Q4 2018 / Q1 2019. This means that 6 DOF videos are almost here (something that also Vive China president has told me);
  • AR porn is still far away;
  • Deo VR will have a huge update in the upcoming times, with a full rewrite of the code.

I really want to thanks Alex for all these wonderful insights… I learned a lot talking with him. If you want to try his app yourself, you can find it at this address. I’ve used it and I can confirm that it is very neat, has an interface that is easy to be used and it works like a charm. The embedded Deo VR player does its job and offers the possibility to choose the resolution of the video. Streaming works very well. In conclusion, it offers a great VR adult experience. It has been a great sacrifice for me testing it… it’s hard to be a VR blogger nowadays 😉

Hope you liked this little chat as I did… if it is the case, subscribe to my newsletter to sustain this little AR/VR magazine!

 

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Skarredghost

AR/VR developer, startupper, zombie killer. Sometimes I pretend I can blog, but actually I've no idea what I'm doing. I tried to change the world with my startup Immotionar, offering super-awesome full body virtual reality, but now the dream is over. But I'm not giving up: I've started an AR/VR agency called New Technology Walkers with which help you in realizing your XR dreams with our consultancies (Contact us if you need a project done!)

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