Netflix has been quite open in its reluctance to embrace virtual reality (VR), but it seems now the online streaming service is merging together the old and the new in an experiment by creating a VR entertainment rental, Netflix Zone.
It comes from Netflix’s latest hack day where three developers built this new platform to watch the shows you normally would, but in a way that transports you back to the 80s and 90s. As featured in the video below, the viewer can look around the room with shelves full of Netflix categories that are already familiar, and using the motion controller you are able to pick up virtual tape or DVD boxes and turn to the wall where the picked title will preview on a screen. This takes up the entire wall, changing the whole room into a themed hub. To watch your chosen movie or series, you simply throw the box against the wall and the title will start playing.
The experiment-come-development looks to support the HTC Vive head-mounted display (HMD) and motion controllers, putting its room-scale sensors to use as you walk around the room to physically browse the collection. The room is decorated, and early in the demo video it is shown that you are able to throw boxes around into what appears to be building blocks, and each item will obey the law of physics well enough for a satisfactory experience.
Even though this seems like a marketable experience, this may not go much further than the hack day as it was reported by Wired that Netflix said: “while we think these hacks are very cool and fun, they may never become part of the Netflix product, internal infrastructure, or otherwise be used beyond Hack Day”.
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