Transport Yourself Into Your Fave Show With Virtual Reality Streaming

Michael Schneider
15-42-2130
Courtesy of Netflix

Seinfeld fans can soon be the virtual masters of their domain.

Netflix and Hulu are developing virtual reality apps that will allow viewers who wear a VR headset while watching TV on the service to feel transported to a different location. Users can choose the setting in which they want to watch, such as a movie theater for screening a film or Jerry’s blue couch for catching up on Seinfeld. Netflix is working with Facebook’s Oculus VR to launch its app on Samsung Gear VR by Thanksgiving; Hulu’s app will be available this fall as well.

15-42-2220Hulu is also developing original 3-D content for virtual reality, including a short film from the producers of its original series RocketJump: The Show. The streaming service is in talks with creators of its other programs, including The Mindy Project, about producing bonus VR content. “We want to be on the front of the train,” says Hulu’s head of distribution, Tim Connolly.

Virtual reality is also expected to greatly expand in video games, while studios are starting to use the technology to showcase bonus content between installments of hit franchise movies like The Hunger Games.

Connolly admits not everyone will be excited by the idea of strapping on devices to watch TV shows in a fake living room. But, he says, “if you’re on an airplane, stuck in a cramped economy seat, [you can] put on your VR headset and feel like you’re in a completely different place.”