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Netflix Hack Day Challenge Spawns Innovations Like Oculix

By    |   Friday, 22 Aug 2014 10:11 AM

Netflix Hack Day spawns a number of innovative, experimental ideas for the company each year, and this year's standout was Oculix, software that works with the Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles to help you browse movie titles in 3D.

In a company blog post, Netflix wrote that over 150 computer programmers gathered for the competition on Thursday and Friday of last week, producing more than 50 so-called "hacks."

Such competitions are popular among tech companies in Silicon Valley because they provide a fun change of pace for employees — allowing them to show off their creative sides — and occasionally produce an idea good enough to actually implement.

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During this summer's Hack Day, "The teams produced hacks covering a wide array of areas, including development productivity, internal insights tools, quirky and fun mash-ups, and of course a breadth of product-related feature ideas," the company stated.

User experience features often emerge as crowd-pleasers, but the Oculix software raised that bar so high it lit up tech blogs like Mashable, Re/code, and Gizmodo.

Geek.com commented that Oculix's immersive browsing was akin to "the Professor X Cerebro experience, placing videos in an impressive 3D orb around you. Tile your head to find things, use hand gestures through a Leap Motion to make a selection, and enjoy your movie in a virtual movie theater. It’s a cool idea, especially if you’re showing off what the Oculus Rift can do." 

Unfortunately, the Oculus Rift hardware has remained in limited production for developers since its inception in 2012, but after being acquired by Facebook this year, many experts expect a consumer version to be released in 2015.

Many bloggers noted that software like Oculix could easily be turned into an app for the Oculus Rift, which could, in-turn, make the geeky goggles more appealing to mainstream consumers.

Netflix is always careful to note, however, that software developed at Hack Day has no guarantee of being adopted. But based on the popularity its gained in just under a week, Oculix looks like shoo-in for serious development.



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Netflix Hack Day spawns a number of innovative, experimental ideas for the company each year, and this year's standout was Oculix, software that works with the Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles to help you browse movie titles in 3D.
netflix, hack, day, spawns, innovations
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2014-11-22
Friday, 22 Aug 2014 10:11 AM
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