We will stream to your eyeballs, or VR, or um whatever the future is


Netflix CEO Reed Hastings speaks at Mobile World Congress 2017.

Image: manuel blondeau/mashable

Today, Netflix streams to TVs, computers, tablets, phones, game consoles and more—but what about in the future?

During a keynote at Mobile World Congress on Monday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the streaming video service will adapt to whatever the hot new video-viewing technology is in 10, 20, or 50 years. 

“Five or ten years from now, the quality of Netflix on all of your devices will be incredible,” Hastings said. “We don’t know what that is. We have to learn by experimenting.”

Hastings said the company’s not focusing on creating original video content specifically for a type of screen or display size. Instead, its original shows prioritize storytelling so that it doesn’t really matter what size screen or device you watch content on—what’s most important is feeling a connection with the content.

When asked where he thinks streaming will be in the next 10-50 years, he said they’ll be on whatever platform is mainstream.

“If virtual reality takes off we’ll adapt to that. If it’s contact lenses that have powerful lenses, we’ll adapt to that.”

“If it’s contact lenses that have powerful lenses, we’ll adapt to that.”

At first it might sound ridiculous to stream videos to your contacts, but you also have to remember that people said the same about watching videos in VR. 

Who the heck would want to put on a bulky headset and watch videos in a virtual theater when they could just go to a real movie theater? It turns out tons of people do because it’s more convenient and it’s more immersive.

While Netflix hasn’t fully committed to streaming videos to VR (yet) or even started producing VR/360-degree video content for VR headsets, it has dipped its toes into the VR waters with an app that simulates the experience of being in a real theater.

If there’s any takeaway from Hasting’s interview during the keynote, it’s that Netflix is on the forefront of emerging technology. The only way to stay ahead of the game is to experiment and build for new platforms, no matter how stupid they may seem today. Whether that’s VR or smart contacts, Netflix will be wherever its viewers are.

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