Software & Web Development

Amazon staffs up for virtual reality video push

Amazon is dipping its toes into virtual reality as the company expands its video team.

As spotted by UploadVR, a new Amazon job posting seeks “a talented Senior Software Development Manager to lead our Virtual Reality team,” whose task is to build VR experiences as part of Amazon Video.

“The future will not be limited to passive 2D experiences,” the job posting says. “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.”

Amazon isn’t alone in wanting to bring its streaming video service to virtual reality. Netflix, for instance, offers a virtual viewing room for Samsung’s Gear VR headset, and Hulu is experimenting with its own VR app, due out this spring. Meanwhile, YouTube offers a selection of 360-degree videos, and is reportedly looking into live event streaming in VR.

Amazon’s job posting hints that the company wants to do more than throw some 2D videos into a 3D space, but there are a lot of shapes that Amazon’s efforts could take. And while the company bills its plan as software-related, we wouldn’t be surprised if this was a precursor to Amazon VR hardware.

Why this matters: Although a single job posting isn’t worth reading into too deeply, it does show that Amazon is interested in exploring virtual reality alongside its streaming video rivals. It’s still early days for the concept of three-dimensional storytelling, and the more companies trying to figure it out, the better.

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