If you look back over the past 10 years or so of Internet and technology life, there’s one thing that’s incredibly difficult to dispute — we owe a lot of credit to the porn industry for innovation. You’ve probably heard the argument before, but it bears repeating. Technologies like video chat, online payments and even the push for faster access were all driven in large parts by the consumer’s demand for pornography on demand.

Yet, in the past couple of years, we’ve not seen that same level of innovation. In fact, the only thing recently credited to the industry was the downfall of HD-DVD to Blu-Ray after the industry chose the latter as the standard (the same thing happened with VHS versus Betamax in the 80s, for those who didn’t know). So why has the industry stopped innovating? Are outside sources doing it better and faster…no pun intended?

I think that the answer is actually a bit more obtuse than this simple explanation. It might be that, for the first time, we’ve reached the apex of what we can do with the standards of technology that we have today. You see, there’s typically been a limit to what the industry will tackle. It’s not had a track record of developing many new technologies, but rather it has excelled in helping to make existing ones better.

But what’s the next thing that will bring about that tweaking? We already have screaming fast Internet available to a vast majority of the world’s population. We have reliable payment systems, 3D displays and even ways to feel what you’re seeing (slightly NSFW). Maybe the industry will find a way to make the RealDoll (definitely NSFW) even more real?

I wanted to write this to open up discussion, so there it is. What innovations should the industry focus on next? After all, the rest of us have benefitted in the long run from the work that the pornography industry has done in the past. Maybe it’s time to take the discussion out from behind the peepshow curtain.