Hulu and Netflix Seen to Enter Virtual Reality Soon
Virtual reality is set to become a reality for millions of consumers worldwide. Samsung and HTC are both technology companies who have invested heavily in this burgeoning industry, with products expected to ship in late 2015. At the top of them all–in terms of media exposure–stands Facebook’s Oculus VR glasses, also known as the Oculus Rift.
It is seen that VR devices like the Oculus Rift will have more far-reaching appeal to its consumer bases aside from gaming. According to Variety magazine, Internet TV giants Netflix and Hulu are both said to launch VR software.
Hulu will offer viewers the ability to watch regular TV shows within a virtual space, as well as separate virtual content that is customized for a specific viewing device. For Netflix, on the other hand, it will offer software for VR which highlights a unique feature so-called ‘Netflix Living Room’. Netflix Living Room will be a digital, virtual environment that is designed to look and feel like the optimal viewing environment, just like how your movies should look like to you in a perfect setting. All told, both companies have announced plans to develop original content that is designed specifically for VR viewing.
Similar to what is going on with VR in video games, tech analysts have been worried that the VR revolution could largely fail since the majority of TV shows and movies out there were not filmed with special equipment tailored for VR. Until now, it has been of great concern of how VR devices such as the Oculus Rift will handle streaming movies and TV shows in virtual reality fashion even without having these kinds of content being filmed or shot using specialized VR equipment.
Both Netflix and Hulu seem to be aware of this issue, and is developing their VR software to create a virtual watching environment for viewers in the form of a virtual room from which TV shows and movies can be watched.
In a report from Variety magazine, Julian Eggebrecht, Hulu’s Vice President of device platforms said, “Providing viewers with dynamic environments of their choice and themed around their favorite shows provides a whole new level of engagement, which together with our cinematic VR experiences makes Hulu an exciting VR destination.”