A Virtual-Reality Version of Netflix Would Make Browsing Much Easier

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Aug. 21 2014 2:53 PM

A Virtual-Reality Version of Netflix Would Make Browsing Much Easier

Like a lot of tech companies, Netflix has events a few times a year where developers get the day off from their normal work to create fun new projects. And Netflix’s most recent Hack Day produced some cool results. In a blog post, Netflix writes, “we had over 150 people code from Thursday morning to Friday morning ... [They did] some incredible work in just 24 hours!” One project is a Chrome extension that puts Netflix in a small screen so you can watch while browsing other sites. Another is a design tweak to Netflix’s current interface that uses circular organization to display related or suggested movies around a central recommendation.

And another is Oculix (see video above), an immersive Netflix world for the Oculus Rift with gesture support. You can look all around, see movie titles and television shows floating in front of you, and select what you want to watch with your hand.

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Though Netflix is clear that these projects may never become real products, some of them definitely should. Maybe the next step for Oculix is a virtual reality-video rental store where we can all browse around in 3-D space like we used to—no recommendation algorithms needed. That's what I want.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.

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