Netflix launches official Gear VR app, letting people strap their phone on their face to watch films in virtual reality

The app was launched alongside a range of updates from Facebook’s Oculus, including a new $99 headset for putting your phone into

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The Independent Tech

Netflix will now let people strap their phones to their faces so that they can watch films on them.

The company has announced its official app for Gear VR, the headset made by Samsung in co-operation with Oculus, Facebook’s virtual reality company. The headset allows people to put their phone into it and use it as a virtual reality screen, and Samsung announced yesterday that it will be selling a much cheaper, $99 version of it.

The app puts people inside a virtual rustic cabin, apparently located in some snowy mountains. The room has chairs, a coffee table and a hug Netflix logo above the fireplace, which seats the TV.

Looking at the virtual television shows the normal Netflix menu screen, and videos can be chosen using the button on the sides of the headset.

Users can then watch their video while staying in the virtual cabin, or they can enter “Void Theater” and see the video against a grey background. Looking around explores the cabin, or it can be set on a special travel mode that won’t move.

That’s because there isn’t any 360-degree content, of the kind that’s needed to watch in virtual reality, available on Netflix. There also isn’t any 3D programming — but both are expected to be added later.

Oculus also said that videos from Hulu, Vimeo, Twitch, and TiVo will have their own virtual reality apps, and that Facebook’s new 360-degree videos will be available to watch.

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