Hulu And Netflix Launch VR Apps For Samsung Gear VR

Posted: Oct 11 2015, 5:35pm CDT | by , Updated: Oct 12 2015, 10:03pm CDT, in News | Technology News

Hulu and Netflix launch VR Apps for Samsung Gear VR
Netflix Living Room

The $99 Samsung Gear VR gets support by two major video streaming services.

Video streaming services Netflix and Hulu embrace virtual reality. The $99 Samsung Gear smartphone virtual reality systems will feature a Hulu VR and a Netflix VR app. Netflix announced the Netflix VR app last month.

The app includes a Netflix Living Room, allowing members to get the Netflix experience from the comfort of a virtual couch, wherever they bring their Gear VR headset. This is already available to Oculus users today. Netflix has been working closely with John Carmack, CTO of Oculus and programmer extraordinaire, to bring our TV user interface to the Gear VR headset.

John Carmack explained the development of the Netflix VR app in this blog post on Netflix.

Hulu is also ready with the Hulu VR app in time for the launch of Gear VR in November. Hulu is also considering commissioning original series that are purely a virtual reality without a "2D" element according to Hulu's head of distribution, Tim Connolly.

Hulu also works on an immersive environments to watch 2D video, including watching an episode of Seinfeld sitting in Jerry's apartment. "We think this is a smart bet that helps position us as an innovator and helps us learn earlier on what could be a substantive storytelling environment," Connolly said in a recent interview with CNET.

At $99 virtual reality has a chance at mainstream adoption. The experience with the Google Cardboard like systems is far from being as sophisticated as full VR systems like Oculus Rift. These systems are glorified personal video viewers, that have been on the market since almost two decades.

A note to iPhone users, Gear VR only works with Samsung smartphones. iPhone users can use Google's Cardboard v2 system. It is not clear though if and when Netflix and Hulu release iOS virtual reality apps.

Samsung with Gear VR now has the ability to get premium content providers to support their platform. Only Apple can do that for the iPhone. Apple will be behind the curve on this one again, like with streaming music.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
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