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    I Watched James Deen Make the First-Ever Google Glass Porn

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    Arikia Millikan

    I sat across the table from the porn star James Deen, and all I could think about was that in the very near future he would be wearing nothing but my pair of Google Glass, and doing what he does best.

    “I like gadgets. I like gizmos. I like technology and stuff,” said the object of millions of people’s sexual ideation as he munched on a chocolate croissant.

    Having had Glass for only two days prior to this meeting, I was just beginning to play with it myself, and was weighing my own experiences with the endless and unavoidable internet hype. It was a bizarre series of events through which I found myself in this scenario: helping to pioneer the first porn shoot of its kind, in which James Deen and Andy San Dimas would each don Glass and record their exploits so that the world could experience sex through their points of view.

    A week earlier in Seattle, I had interviewed Jen McEwen and Jesse Adams, founders of MiKandi, the world’s largest adult app store for Android. Following the inevitable unfolding of Rule 34, which states that “if something exists, there is porn of it,” a MiKandi engineer, who wishes to be referred to only as Dr. Cocktor, obtained a pair of Glass after attending the Google i/O event in May. After two intensive weeks of development, MiKandi released the first Glass porn app: Tits and Glass.

     
    Behind the scenes at the first-ever porn filmed with Google Glass. 

    “The first thing everyone thought [when Glass came out] was, OK, it’s obviously going to be used for porn,” Adams said.

    After carefully reviewing Google’s terms of service during development, they proceeded to roll out their app, releasing it on May 27 and officially announcing it June 3. But much to their dismay, they learned that Google had changed its TOS in the days before the announcement to prohibit “Glassware content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts, or sexually explicit material.” Though MiKandi pulled their app immediately upon realizing the TOS had been changed, they discovered Google had set API limits to zero, effectively forcing them to start over. (Google declined to comment for this story.)

    Andy San Dimas and James Deen, pre-VR coitus. Images courtesy of the author

    “They quietly updated their terms and didn’t announce to anybody,” said McEwen. “And then they punished us for it.” As she wrote on her blog: “If you just want the TL;DR version—our Google Glass porn app went limp when Google updated its Glass Platform Developer Policy.”

    At the time of the takedown, Google hadn’t yet released a web browser for Glass.

    “It’s very controlled,” Adams said. “It’s not like you can just go to Google and say ‘Ok, Glass: Porn.’ You won’t see it. It’s not a traditional browser.”

    But now you can access sites that turn up when searching via Glass’s (aggravatingly inaccurate) audio translation mechanism. The MiKandi team thinks it’s only a matter of time before porn is as readily viewable on Glass as it is on the web, and if Google won’t provide access, other hardware companies are waiting in the rafters to swoop in and cover the VR porn market.

    Tits & Glass traffic takes a plunge after Google changed its TOS

    Because of its novelty, developing for Glass is something of a formidable task — and Google’s development model relies on thousands of volunteers to take it on.

    “They put out a release that said, hey we’re going to change our policies over time, so we’re looking forward to working with our developers to help us form these policies,” Adams said. “We feel like we’re one of the guys who can help them form their policies.”

    And they have access to a massive team of developers, indeed. When Apple announced its widespread ban on all apps featuring adult content from the iPhone app store in 2010, MiKandi became the virtual shepherd for the hoard of displaced adult app developers, ushering them to the green pastures of Android. They made an enemy in the late Steve Jobs, who would disdainfully refer to MiKandi as a “porn store” without mentioning them by name. When MiKandi declared themselves the “world’s first and largest adult app store for Android,” Jobs sent his legal team after MiKandi, claiming rights over the use of the term “app store.” The feud only fueled MiKandi though, as the press spectacle sent more curious customers and pissed off developers to their adult app haven.

    While Android welcomed MiKandi with open arms, it’s hard to say if this move was an opportunistic chance to stick it to their primary competitor, or a statement about the freedom of information.

    Though Android and Glass are both Google ecosystems, Android is a thriving estuary compared to the barren desert of the Glass app market right now.

    “Even just to write the words ‘Hello World’ on the screen was probably over 1,000 lines of code,” McEwen said. After Google disabled the first version of Tits and Glass, reworking it to new standards took their team of four core developers an additional ten days of round-the clock coding to update. “It leaves a bad taste in developers’ mouths. We’re worried, we’re checking their TOS every single day.”

    “They didn’t go as far to say what the user could do, but they said that the developer could not push pornographic content to the glasses,” Adams said. “So we thought, OK, that’s kind of interesting. We’re going to push that envelope.”

    While the developers couldn’t push porn into the Glass, Google’s new TOS didn’t preclude them from enabling users to go buckwild in sharing their own POV creations. So they set up a Tits and Glass website to house this new genre of content and teamed up with the leading industry publication XBiz to produce a video that would give their users what they wanted — epic POV Glass porn. And they invited me to bring my Glass along for the ride.

    On set, Deen told me he had first heard about Glass while channel surfing on a plane when a segment on CNN about Google’s attempts to block porn on the device caught his attention. “Immediately after hearing about it, I was like ‘I want to play with it.’”

    And play with it he did. Deen donned my charcoal glass, San Dimas wore Dr. Cockles’ blue pair, and the two received training and tips on ways the Glass could theoretically be used during sex from the MiKandi team and myself. At one point Deen managed to toggle my Glass off of “Guest Mode” and would have Tweeted an illicit picture to my account if the WiFi was on. He endearingly feigned technological confusion, but it was obvious he’d seen his share of recording equipment and was soon calling the shots and coordinating the action with San Dimas, cracking Glass jokes in between takes.

    “Hey, I just wanted to let you know that you’ve got a really great Glass,” Deen seductively told San Dimas, leaning over the desk behind which she was pretending to be a receptionist.

    Before long, the clothes were coming off as the two played with the concept of an X-ray vision app that would render the subject of Glass’s gaze naked. In addition to the plot, the Glass also began to heat up, as it tends to do when recording for an extended period of time. The stars grew irritated with their cyborg extension, which kept getting knocked around and caught in San Dimas’s hair.

    The developers and I left the room so they could bang out their grand finale. We glanced at each other with wide-eyed smirks as the sound of Deen shoving various items off the reception desk to make room for a wildly moaning San Dimas resonated through the walls.

    After the shoot, we interviewed them about what it was like fucking with Glass, my pair sitting crookedly atop Deen’s brow. The two weren’t entirely sold, but I suspected their fan base might think differently.

    When I asked James Deen what he thought about the Google’s maneuvers to box MiKandi out of the Glass market, he seemed torn.

    “Is it the kind of thing where they’re like ‘What up bro, you didn’t tell me that, what’s your problem?’ Or is it where they’re just like ‘Well hey, this thing came out, we don’t want to have anything to do with that. We’re gonna change our TOS. Deal with that’?” he said. “Ultimately at the end of the day, it’s Google’s product. If Google says ‘We don’t want to do that,’ then those are the rules.”

    While McEwen likes to poke fun at Google’s “unnecessary” porn ban, she supposed their reasoning for disabling Tits and Glass at this stage of Glass development was more about not wanting to have porn dominate the sparsely populated app catalog, and “a knee-jerk reaction” based on unlikely scenarios. “They think we’re going to be on the bus watching porn.”

    The next day, while on the bus to LAX, I did exactly that. I sifted through the footage from the previous day. Nobody could see or hear what I was looking at, as much of the sound in Glass is transmitted through your head via bone resonance. But I was still paranoid someone would know, so I turned it off when the performers started moaning.

    Though Glass is marketed as a tool not intended for long-term viewing, but rather as a notification delivery device, watching the footage you’ve recorded #ThroughGlass (as the company forces you to disclose whenever you share a picture via Twitter), is an experience with the powerful ability to transport you to a different time and place. It's not an easy thing, this video camera on your face, and we have a lot of figuring out to do. But it’s an experience that I hope is eventually accessible to anyone who wants to memorialize themselves indulging in the presence of lovers, whether they’re real, a fantasy, or something somewhere in between.

    Watch the full trailer for the first Glass porn.

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