You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Netflix Hacks Up 3D Virtual-Reality Demo Using Oculus Rift (VIDEO)

Someday, you might be able to sit down to watch Netflix’s “House of Cards” with a virtual-reality helmet strapped to your head, to see around corners and experience the political machinations in a 3D environment.

Or maybe not.

Whether VR is the future of entertainment — or just a passing fad — Netflix is among those tinkering with the technology.

Last week, a team of the company’s engineers worked up a demo of “Oculix,” a 3D virtual room of the Netflix interface using Facebook’s Oculus Rift VR headset. The app included gesture support, so that when the viewer turns his or her head, the view of the “room” shifted accordingly. Facebook, for one, has placed a $2 billion bet on VR with its acquisition of Oculus (before the startup had shipped a consumer version of its product).

SEE ALSO: Zuckerberg: Facebook Will Continue to ‘Invest Heavily’ in Virtual Reality

The Oculix demo emerged from Netflix’s latest Hack Day, held Aug. 14-15 at its headquarters in Los Gatos, Calif. More than 150 Netflix engineers participated in the event and produced more than 50 ideas — some jokey, and others that may hold commercial promise.

“If something interesting and useful comes from Hack Day, that is great, but the real motivation is fun and collaboration,” the event’s organizers wrote in a post on Netflix’s tech blog, noting that the concepts may never progress into actual products or services.

Other hacks that Netflix highlighted:

  • Netflix Hue: Automatically adjust a room’s ambient lighting, using Philips smart light bulbs, to match titles a user is browsing or watching.
  • Netflix Mini: An extension for Google’s Chrome that lets users watch video in a mini-screen while using the browser for other tasks.
  • Circle of Life: Home-page interface concept that shows one central title, surrounded by 10 related movies or TV shows in a circle.
  • Dropflix: Provides the ability to share video clips, favorite titles and perform other actions by dragging-and-dropping poster art from the Netflix home screen and browse interfaces.
  • Nerdflix: Clearly just for laughs (we think), this demo features a DOS-like text interface designed for our “loyal, mouse-averse customer,” says Nerdflix’s creator, Sanjit Bhattacharjee.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • United Talent Agency Reveals New Logo

    UTA Unveils New Logo, Corporate Image

    UTA raised the curtain Monday on a new corporate logo. The three-dimensional image is meant to emphasize the talent agency’s focus on uniting ideas, opportunities and talent. Building signage with the new logo will go up next month at UTA’s headquarters in Beverly Hills. “Our new identity captures the multiple facets and intersections of our [...]

  • Altice One set-top

    Amazon Prime Video Coming to Altice's Optimum, Suddenlink Cable Services

    Altice USA plans to launch Amazon Prime Video for Optimum and Suddenlink cable customers nationwide in the next few months, under a pact announced Monday. Altice is the third pay-TV operator in the U.S. with a distribution deal for Amazon Prime Video, after Comcast and Cox Communications. The cable operator is adding Prime Video to [...]

  • youtube leanback screenshot

    YouTube to Shut Down Leanback Web TV Interface on October 2

    YouTube is getting ready to retire its TV-optimized browser interface, also known as YouTube Leanback, on October 2, Variety has learned. The move comes as YouTube is putting a bigger emphasis on its native TV apps, but also represents a blow to users who directly connected their PCs to their TVs. YouTube started to inform [...]

  • Terminator: Dark Fate

    Paramount & Adobe Launch ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Trailer Remix Contest

    Adobe has teamed up with Paramount Pictures to launch a remix contest for the trailer of “Terminator: Dark Fate,” which is set to debut in theaters November 1. The winner of the contest will get $10,000 as well as a one-year Adobe Creative Cloud membership and a private screening of the movie for up to [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    SAG-AFTRA Urges Gavin Newsom to Sign Law Punishing 'Deep Fake' Videos

    SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White is urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign legislation that institutes penalties for nonconsensual digital sexually explicit videos, also known as “deep fakes.” The legislation, Assembly Bill 602, targets companies and individuals who create and distribute the videos in California without the consent of the individual being depicted. “We urge Gov. [...]

  • Facebook Portal logo

    Facebook Is Launching a Portal TV Device: Here’s What We Know

    Facebook is getting ready to launch a TV streaming device in time for the holiday season, Variety has been able to confirm with multiple sources familiar with the company’s plans. The new streaming hardware will be part of the company’s Portal family of devices, featuring a camera, and combining video chatting with TV viewing and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content