Come over and lets Netflix and vrill. See what we’ve done there? Mixing up the buzz words for ‘having a good time’ and ‘virtual reality’ – pretty clever right? Nah, you’re right its pretty naff but then so was having to schlep down to the local Blockbusters to pick up a DVD/ VHS, schlep back home, watch it for a couple of hours and then schlep it back in the pouring rain; a great customer experience indeed!
Thankfully with the advent of the internet the concept of high street movie rental died off and in stepped the hugely popular (80m users popular) streaming service Netflix. Well many of their users are still highly nostalgic for the ‘good’ old times so Netflix have kindly recreated the experience – Netflix Zone. This is the latest ‘hack day’ project where Netflix developers are pretty much given carte blanche to let their imagination run free.
VR movie rental shop
As you can see from the images you get to walk around a recreated video store which has various movie cassettes lined up on the shelving displays and large movie posters on the wall. If you pick up a movie the shops background changes to immerse you into the theme of that particular film. To watch the movie simply throw it into the giant video screen and it starts playing.
Of course its pretty ironic that Netflix have gone and done this seeing that they pretty much destroyed Blockbuster however it is an interesting project and it could become an actual option for owners in the future. However unlike Hulu and YouTube, Netflix aren’t jumping onto the virtual bandwagon just yet. Sure Samsung’s Gear VR headset includes an official Netflix app however this allows you to watch movies on an enormous virtual screen as opposed to immersing yourself into a 360 degree movie.
Realistically its unlikely Netflix Zone will be anything but a hack however the virtual reality world moves so quickly that you can never say never. Its all about mass market, currently VR is still pretty niche but its been significantly ramping up this year.
Take a look at the preview below.