The Stack Archive

Amazon Video hints at new VR platform

Tue 8 Mar 2016

Virtual reality

Amazon is looking to expand its business into the realms of virtual reality (VR), according to a recent job site posting looking for someone to lead the new project.

The ad, posted to Amazon’s Glassdoor page, is for a ‘Senior Software Development Manager’ who will be responsible for ‘the Virtual Reality experience within Amazon Video.’ The posting outlines that ‘basic qualifications’ must include a degree in computer science, at least 15 years of relevant experience in engineering, seven years of technical experience and an additional five years of experience as a software development manager. Interestingly, there is no mention of applicants needing previous experience with virtual reality.

It is not clear whether Amazon plans to establish a new team dedicated to introducing its own VR content, or rather to develop the technology to be able to distribute it. Considering Netflix recently announced that it would be interested in increasing its presence in 360-degree creation by producing its own VR projects, it is likely that Amazon will do the same for its Prime service in the near future.

It is also possible that the e-commerce giant could also be looking into hardware too, having filed a patent for a VR headset and releasing its new game engine, Lumberyard, which supports VR technology.

The job posting elaborates: ‘Entertainment is evolving rapidly. The future will not be limited to passive 2D experiences. The Virtual Reality team will explore and create the platform and interface for immersive storytelling. This will include an ingestion and playback platform for Virtual Reality experiences.’

2016 is set to be the year when consumer-level VR kicks off, with Facebook’s Oculus, HTC’s Vive and Sony’s PlayStation all looking to release their own virtual reality kit in the coming months. According to estimates, the virtual reality market could grow from its humble beginnings today to a $30 billion industry by 2020.


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