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EDITOR’S BLOG 250118 VR sex and cryptocurrencies hold the key to next wave of telemedia services

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Forget this being the first week of operations under PSD2. Park all those worries about GDPR. Stop, for a moment, looking into how to leverage crypto currencies in value added services. Stop all these things: something huge has happened…

Yes, we can finally have sex – actual sex – over the internet. What times we live in. Or are we actually now living in an episode of Black Mirror?

Either way this is huge. Thanks to VR, broadband, some clever software and a, well, device, the dream of the adult industry has finally come to pass.

Now, many of you will remember the early days of adult and the web – very slow dial up slowly revealing the goods, line by tantalising line. Let’s hope that this VR experience isn’t also subject to the vagaries of today’s networks. Let’s face it, wifi isn’t always that great and it can, well, freeze (which reminds me of an unfortunate incident with a live link to an adult call centre, a trade show audience and me chairing – but that’s for another time).

Let’s hope Telefonica’s decision to create two 5G cities in Spain to test rapid mobile broadband technology in the real world comes to a network-boosting climax in time…

But there is a serious point to all this. The move by CamSoda to introduce VR is interesting as it is one of the first times for a while that the once pioneering adult industry has come up with something new and ground breaking. Let’s hope it will drive VR to become a mainstream tool. The marketing potential is huge and the opportunity to exploit VR-based VAS via telemedia and mobile is also immense.

Interestingly, IVR is also back on the menu, with food retail giant Sainsbury’s investing heavily in the technology to handle an increase in phone call-based interaction. The move has been driven by changing shopping habits, with click and collect, along with the supermarket’s move to offer third party services such as key cutting, pharmacy and electrical goods has seen it get more phone calls.

The main point is that there are a mixture of cutting edge and old school services knocking about. And this is perhaps the route to growing telemedia. While sex via VR and web is a novelty, it does bode well for a whole new raft of services. The fact that retailing giants are taking enough calls to invest in IVR, shows how consumers rapidly evolve and adapt.

What is key is that we face a world where we can see the old and new mixing to make exciting new services. And exciting new services need exciting new ways to pay.

For many of these carrier billing can be a real boon. But keep an eye on crypo currencies. There are a lot of gamers out there with a lot of coins, jewels, dragons, tokens, swords and more. These are effectively money: they have value.

And it won’t be long before they are being traded for other things. This I think is perhaps the most exciting thing to hit telemedia in years. It totally changes the concept of money; it totally circumvents the traditional financial sector (until someone wants to cash in for, well, cash) and it is a grey area when it comes to regulation.

If I was a betting man, I would be putting my Bitcoin – and even my Sword of Thraa – on the next big thing being mobile cryptocurrency exchange and payments. Assuming I don’t get hooked on VR sex, I will be watching this one very closely.

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