Oculus was acquired by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) earlier this year for $2 billion. To date, developers have been working on games, technical demos, 360-degree movies, concerts and the like but hasn’t spent much time working on apps. In fact, Facebook is so keen to “debug the Rift” that it announced yesterday that it would begin paying developers for identifying issues in the Rift’sd code with a minimum payout of $500 for discovering an issue with no upper limit for larger problems found
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) has plenty of money, so presumably they won’t be spending much time trying to help Facebook. That said, on its roughly bi-monthly Hack Day, Netflix did essentially give the Rift and consequently Facebook its first(?) media player for the VR headset.
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Netflix content: The Mashup
Six Netflix employees, presumably engineers, tood to creating a way for Rift users to browse and play Netflix content. Users can look around the Netflix catalog simply by shifting their gaze and make selections using a Leap Motion gesture sensor to scroll.
Imaging yourself as Professor X hooked to the Cerbero. That’s the pretty cool looking part of this experiment. Videos swirl about the Rift’s screen giving you the role of Patrick Stewart. And that’s about where the fun stops. I’m not necessarily one of those people tremendously interested in watching a moving with an uncomfortable headset on though I must say I have horrible claustrophobic.
And lets be honest, you still need a laptop and it’s just easier to select contact on a tablet.
But that’s not to say that others won’t love it if it is ever developed into an app and there is no guarantee of that.
To develop or not to develop
“We should note that, 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,” Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) wrote in a blog post. “We are surfacing them here publicly to share the spirit of the Netflix Hack Day.”
I would go so far as to say that it wasn’t the coolest hack shown yesterday. I think that award needs to go to Netflix Mini that offers a small window as a Chrome extensio so you can watch a movie or TV show in a tiny floating window without having to flip back and forth between windows or tabs. Perfect for watching TV while working.