These three developers created a virtual Netflix video rental store and we just had flash backs.
Some of you, maybe not all of you, may remember a time in the 90’s when you had to walk into a video rental store to pick out the night’s entertainment with friends. You browsed the shelves of VHS tapes, drawn to various films by their cover art and movie title. It was a fun time of discovering movies to watch, relying not only on the studio to create compelling cover art, but also on stock available in-store. You could usually expect all the “new releases” to have been checked out for weeks after first hitting shelves.
But now we are in the time of VR, where anything is possible and whatever you want to create or do can all probably be done in a virtual world. So why not create the nostalgic feeling of a video rental store and marry it with the future of entertainment consumption – Netflix.
One team at a Netflix’s Hack Day, created just that, with their concept of a Netflix video rental store in virtual reality. The company has revealed that the feature is called Netflix Zone and was created by Joey Cato, Adnan Abbas and Marco Caldeira.
The Netflix Zone concept allows you to put on your HTC Vive headset and walk around a virtual video rental store, complete with a library of VHS tapes on the “shelves”. Surrounding you plastered on the walls are movie and Netlfix titles, just like in the old days.
Using the HTC Vive hand controllers, you can walk over to a shelf and pick up a VHS tape. Only in this virtual Netflix shop, the titles include more current content like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. With VHS tape in hand, you can then bring it up to your face, in a way tapping it to your head, and the “shop” transforms into a whole themed environment. In the demo video shared by Netflix, the user selects a Daredevil VHS tape and you find yourself in a New York City setting while a giant projector screen rises up to begin your entertainment experience. Once your done, just toss the tape on the floor and move along.
It should be noted that this is just a concept hatched up at Netflix’s Hack Day and may never see the day of light beyond just this demo video.
This isn’t Netflix’s first foray into VR though, back in September Oculus announced at their annual developer’s conference the launch of Netflix on the Samsung Gear VR.