Oculus, the company responsible for launching the Samsung Gear VR series of virtual reality headsets, has announced that it’s engineers have been working to create a Netflix app which VR users can access as they relax in their virtual living rooms, Engadget reported this past Thursday.
Most of the information about the integration of the app into Oculus’ virtual world was included in a post on Netflix’s blog.
John Carmack, chief technology officer at Oculus, wrote the post, detailing how the idea came about and how the app will function within the virtual worlds of Occult’s users.
A photo accompanying the post gave readers an idea of what the Netflix integration would look like. The photo shows a virtual living room with a cavernous roof, a picture window looking out toward snow-covered mountains and a giant, wall-sized television displaying the Netflix app page for the Daredevil series.
Users plop down on their virtual couch, turn on their virtual TV and then watch Netflix shows and movies.
The virtual reality headsets most people use don’t provide the same sound quality as a surround-sound system would, but the fact that “a lot of people want to watch movies and show sin virtual reality” trumps the difference in sound quality.
Despite all the talk of hardcore gamers and abstract metaverses, a lot of people want to watch movies and shows in virtual reality.
Carmack wrote that the idea of integrating Netflix into a virtual world came during a meeting between Oculus and Netflix. Both sides were talking about the possibilities for integration when Carmack blurted out, “Grab an engineer, let’s do this tomorrow!”
The app will integrate two layers of surfacing: video and UI. These two layers will be laid on top of each other and then set against the virtual television in each user’s VR world.
Watching a two-hour movie on a VR headset will expend between 60 and 70 percent of the device’s battery life.