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"You Can't Be For Real!"

Who says? These entrepreneurs think consumers are ready for a dose of reality with their virtual.

This story appears in the May 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

It's more than a little ironic that Ananova (the virtualnewscaster who gets fan mail from real male admirers) recentlyreported that an Australian has patented a flexible mannequin whosebuilt-in motors and, um, parts allow people to have sex over theInternet. Considering we can already smell and taste through ourcomputers (think DigiScents and TriSenx), hasn't the intimacybetween man and machine gotten a little out of hand?

Many consumers think so. Reality TV (Survivor, BigBrother, et al.) struck a chord with the masses, andanti-virtual sentiment now extends far beyond the networks.Ordinary people are logging off their computers and doingextraordinary things-re-enacting famous battles, hiding outon the streets of New York City, venturing into the wilderness.Entrepreneurs should take note: Reality-based entertainment andadventure is finding a sizable market niche.

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