All aboard the VR train! Following in the footsteps of Google(GOOG), Facebook(FB) and Samsung — and Microsoft(MSFT) and Intel(INTC), if you want to count so-called augmented reality — Amazon(AMZN) has posted a job listing indicating it is preparing to take the plunge into the world of virtual reality.
According to the Glassdoor ad (spotted by UploadVR), Amazon is assembling a team to create a virtual-reality (VR) platform for “immersive storytelling.” The ad is for a senior software development manager to lead the team.
This isn’t (yet) about transporting people into virtual stores to look at virtual shelves — it seems the platform is going to be part of the Amazon Video division, and it’s about the future of entertainment.
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“Entertainment is evolving rapidly,” the listing reads. “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 Video’s arch-rival, Netflix, makes some shows available for viewing on the Samsung Gear VR headset, which is powered by the Facebook-owned Oculus platform. Hulu is planning to do the same, although it pushed the release date for its VR app back from November 2015 to Spring this year.
Google’s YouTube is already amassing a stash of 360-degree videos, and Google is reportedly working not only on a successor to its low-cost Cardboard headset, but a standalone VR headset that won’t require a smartphone to accompany it.
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It’s not clear whether Amazon would be looking to produce its own VR hardware but, as UploadVR noted, it recently got a patent for smart glasses. Last month the company also unveiled a new game engine that will be able to support VR games.