A whole lot of people watched VR porn in 2016

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This Fisher-Price stationary bike with a tablet attached feels kind of inevitable

The adult entertainment industry has long been a silent driver of new technologies, from ISPs to graphics cards. With virtual reality, many see porn as one of the more obvious use cases that could lead to heavy headset adoption early on.

Today, Pornhub, which is the 50th most visited website on the internet, released some data that shows some of the early success the site has had since introducing a VR porn section in April of 2016.

The company claims there were more than 38 million searches for virtual reality videos on Pornhub last year. The site has about 1,800 VR-optimized videos in its library now.

Interestingly, the report highlights that VR porn content largely hasn’t taken hold of the United States compared to other markets. Here are the top 10 countries searching for VR porn on Pornhub:

  1. China
  2. Thailand
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Philippines
  5. Norway
  6. Finland
  7. Brazil
  8. Vietnam
  9. Egypt
  10. Chile

For the time being, Pornhub is mainly focusing on Cardboard-based experiences, which have a large audience but don’t really offer that premium of an experience. It is a really easy way to get VR in the hands of the masses; the company gave away about 10,000 pairs of VR goggles as a promotion.

WebVR, which allows your web browser to power virtual reality experiences, will be a major boon to the immersiveness of VR porn, especially on mobile. Stock mobile browsers currently can’t access the head orientation data needed to let you shift your view in a headset. As a result, VR porn is largely confined to either stereoscopic fixed perspective or downloadable videos that you have to load into native apps.

As WebVR is further adopted as a standard, it’s going to be a lot simpler to find high-quality virtual cyber smut.

Pornhub is one of many legacy adult entertainment sites tackling virtual reality content. VR porn seems to be one of the few sure bets in terms of use cases, and, furthermore, it’s one of the few verticals that will likely remain untouched by the tech titans, like Google and Facebook.

2016 was, in many ways, VR’s inaugural year. There’s a lot to expect in 2017 on the VR front; more popular VR adult entertainment is definitely anticipated.

Featured Image: Mark Lennihan/AP