March 9, 2016

According to a new job posting found on the employment site GlassDoor, Amazon are looking for a senior software development manager for a new virtual reality team. Putting two and two together, it’s easy to assume that the company plans to invest in the VR space, at least to some capacity.

The job posting focuses on the successful candidate being responsible for the VR experience within Amazon Video and makes references to the capability not being “limited to passive 2D experiences”, suggesting Amazon are clearly interested in fully immersive 3D content. The job listing continues to mention “immersive storytelling” so it is possible the scope extends beyond Amazon Video and possibly into Audible, who Amazon also owns.

The job posting suggests that the company are clearly looking at the VR space as a product area, rather than just an app in which Amazon Video exists on others’ products:

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.

Amazon’s competitors, such as the likes of Netflix, who already have their own virtual reality app for Samsung’s Gear VR headset, and Hulu who are scheduled to put out their own VR app, have a head start in the VR space but are currently only operating at 2D. Whilst Netflix are said to be looking into 3D capabilities of its VR experience, if Amazon can beat its competitors to the 3D content within VR, then consumers could see Amazon Video, and any associated service, as the preferred option for VR media consumption.

Given as much as we know about Amazon’s VR efforts are revealed by this job listing, it will be interesting to see how much information evolves from this over the next coming months, and when the post eventually gets filled, what Amazon can deliver in the VR space. It’s also hard to say at this point if Amazon’s interest is only in a software platform, or perhaps VR hardware as well.

Source: The Verge

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