Meet Oculix: An Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Interface For Netflix


There's this thing Netflix does occasionally, called a hack day (pretty near every Silicon Valley company does it). Basically, they get all their engineers together, and tell them to go nuts - to get creative and put together something awesome that involves their service. Late last week, we saw the result of one of these hack days - it involves the Oculus Rift.

A few unidentified engineers have put together an experimental interface that allows users to browse and view the video streaming app through the virtual reality headset, complete with a motion sensor for gesture control. It's basically the sort of thing everyone feared the Rift would be relegated to after the Facebook acquisition - yet somehow, after seeing it in action, I really don't mind all that much.

After all, as Polygon notes, it opens up some downright incredible doors for how one might arrange content. Imagine, if you would, a virtual movie theater; each hallway in said theatre would feature a particular genre or type of show. It could be taken a step further, too; each member of a family (or rather, each user on an account) could have their own 'room,' filled with recommendations and viewing history. 

What I'm saying here is that it could very well change how we watch movies. Of course, that's a ways down the line - we don't even have a commercial VR headset available to the user yet. Plus, there's no guarantee it'll even see the light of day - as Netflix said, "most of these projects are just in fun and will never actually be a part of Netflix."

For now, it's interesting to simply have a look at what the future might have in store. After all, the Rift/Netflix interface is pretty cool as it is. As shown in the video above, it allows users to browse throug a sort of open 'globe' of movies in order to choose which content to watch.

It's a different, more involved - though admittedly more solitary - means of engaging with one's content. With that in mind, I can't really see it getting much use during family movie night. Having everyone sitting on the couch wearing a VR visor would be kind of weird, don't you think?