The cell phones of yesteryear served two purposes: making fuzzy phone calls and playing snake. With the current proliferation of smart phones on college campuses nationwide, access to media has achieved a level of effortlessness that has never been paralleled in the history of mobile technology in America.

A glance around Commons or Cross Campus is enough to deduce the general omnipresence of cell phones amidst our own university grounds. Whether a student is alone or within a group, the universal action of reaching for the mobile has become a recognizable and, possibly, caricatured motion.

The advent of diverse and multifaceted phone applications is a possible explanation for this surprisingly firm affinity and attachment. The smart phone enables students to check and send e-mail, listen to music, play games, watch videos and even emulate a George Lucas lightsaber. Various well known companies, such as YouTube and AOL, have capitalized on these circumstances and created their own unique cell phone applications.

As technologies continue to increase the potential of the mobile phone, consumer industries across the board are scrambling to stay current and reach as many users as possible. Yet, current or not, the success of a business lies solely in the interest of the public. And what better public interest is there than sex?

In specific foreign countries, “mobile porn” is a well established industry. For example, Japan’s largest mobile phone carriers DoCoMo and KDDI Corp — known for their ubiquitous clamshell phones, 4G capabilities, high-resolution cameras and credit card integrated devices — have been forced to impose various limits on frequent users as the network suffers under the strain of heavy porn traffic.

Yet, according to Steven Hirsch, co-chairman and founder of Vivid Entertainment, the world’s most established adult video producer, usage and organization of adult content on cell phones in the U.S. lags behind. Nevertheless, numerous companies remain optimistic about the potential of the relatively new American industry.

“The mobile market is a new market,” Philip Williamson, the CEO of BraZZers explains. “It brings with it all the conventions of a new market: Small size, high growth. The quality is quite good. Appreciably, it’s equal.”

Hirsch continues to assert that it is the high practicality and popularity of cell phones that will spur the success of the mobile porn network.

“Our target audience is anyone over 18 who is interested in our content,” Hirsch said. “Since college students are more aware of the latest technology, they are most likely to try our offerings on the Web and via wireless.”

Companies labor tirelessly to streamline the process for their customers. Vivid Entertainment’s mobile service is working towards billing viewers through their mobile phone company as opposed to asking for credit card information. Furthermore, the creation of unique content for different demographics is a step toward the individualization of the entire concept. According to Hirsch, a large percentage of Vivid’s material is actually aimed at couples and women.

The success of mobile porn on Yale’s campus, however, remains in contention. When asked about their opinions on the subject of cell phone pornography, a majority of students interviewed expressed surprise at the very existence of the notion.

One anonymous Californian freshman using BraZZers mobile and PornHub remarked, “It’s too public. Watching porn on your phone is like having sex with other people in the room.”

This sentiment might be diminished, however, after considering the metaphorical “bubble of privacy” that envelops an individual when he or she takes out his or her phone. In some effects, our cell phones have become a temporary refuge from social reality. As such, the viewing of pornographic content appears to have a plausible claim for recognition.

Other students expressed genuinely positive views, noting the utility and convenience of cell phones in viewing pornography due to their small, portable size.

“I think it’s very effective,” one British freshman expressed. “You can’t carry a laptop into the bathroom with you, but you can carry a cellphone.”

But even beyond the theory of viewing pornography on a mobile phone, the actual practice is dependent on several other factors. Videos played on the popular Blackberry Bold occasionally freeze or show blank screens, while the same ones played on an iPhone 3G at times suffer from poor sound quality. When the content runs without interruption, however, the images on both are remarkably superior to videos that one might view through YouTube or TV applications.

Whether mobile porn will have a high precedence in the future of cell phone technology is yet to be decided, but it is undeniable that the evolution of the smart phone is shaping the way people spend time, locate information and access new media. At least on Yale’s campus, the efficacy of cell phone pornography seems a feasible reality as an increasing number of students become aware of their phones’ latent capabilities.