Technology

Plex Adds Support For VR, Releases App For Google Daydream

The popular media streaming app – Plex – is the latest to add support for Google Daydream. Now, users just need a Daydream-compatible Android smartphone and the requisite headset to watch movies and TV shows from any media server linked to the Plex account in virtual reality.

Plex VR
Image Source: Plex (screenshot)

Plex VR – visual treat with interactive environment

Plex VR offers a string of viewing environments for the user to select from, ranging from a drive-in movie theater to the loft apartment. Not just the visuals, but the Plex has also been keen on creating an interactive environment.

Plex VR will allow three others along with the main user to watch the video simultaneously. While watching together, a viewer can see the friend’s avatar in the scene and their head positions will update in real-time to make it easy to identify what they are looking at. For interaction, a user just needs to press a button on the remote. However, the co-watching feature is by subscription only. For trial, however, Plex is offering the service free for the first week, notes TechCrunch.

Plex VR enables the viewer to browse through the entire media server collection and anything that belongs to friends, who have shared the access with the viewer. Further, Plex allows users to pick some artwork cards for movies and shows and “stack” them next to them for fast access. Also, the video window for 2D content can be resized by accessing the Daydream controller trackpad. The 3D and 360-degree content have been labeled for easy identification.

In addition, minor details such as enabling the user to honk the car’s horn at the drive-in, or pick up items, such as popcorn on the table, make the experience fun and realistic. Another feature makes the room darker by bringing down the blinds as a user hits play on a video. On hitting the pause or stop, the blinds are raised again. However, the experience is not just restricted to the apartment settings, but rather Plex has added different scenes.

Collaboration played out well

Speaking to Variety, Plex stated that they have worked in close collaboration with Google to bring the best experience to Daydream. Further, the representative noted that collaboration with Google is logical as viewing video is one of the most popular activities on mobile VR headsets, and 360-degree content can capture most of the storage space on a phone. Therefore, transferring such content to a media server and then streaming it through the VR headset would make life easier for the users.

For creating a mesmerizing VR experience for the users, Plex has hired Alex Keybl, who created VR experience Plevr for Steam and Oculus, notes The Verge. Speaking of Keybl, Plex stated he has become “the latest member of our amazing community to join us full-time in building great stuff for all of you.”

For access to Plex VR, one needs to install the Plex VR app from either the Play Store or inside the Daydream interface. In addition to the server, Plex VR also supports local media on the Android device including 3D and 360/180 video.