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Netflix’s new hack pauses your favourite show when you fall asleep

There are few things in life as good as falling asleep in front of the TV. The only thing that sucks is when you then miss your favorite show. But a couple of tech engineers might have found a solution for this.

Netflix — being an entertainment service and all — is more and more about being fun these days. Earlier this week the media streaming service poked fun at Amazon’s drone delivery experiment, and more recently revealed the most amusing experimental projects of its 24 hour hackathon, Netflix Hack a Day.

The Netflix Hack a Day is an event meant to give the company’s engineers a fun, experimental, and creative outlet. And so, the developers went to work.

Probably the most interesting experiment is the Sleep Tracker — a feature that automatically pauses the show when you fall asleep. Netflix is well known for being the go-to place for binge watching series so the engineers thought it a good idea to let the show stop as soon as you pass out. The hack involves an activity tracking device, the FitBit, which detects whether you’re awake or dozing off on the couch.

Another interesting experiment is called Netflix Beam which basically lets you stream Netflix videos from one device to the other. Using Apple’s Bluetooth-based iBeacon technology, the video shows a smartphone simply tap against a tablet which then starts streaming a movie. This feature aims to sidestep cumbersome third party user logins.

Many of the other experiments sort out technical annoyances such as user logins or pin protected accounts. Netflix does say however that while these hacks are all good and well, many of them won’t become part of the commercial product features.

Earlier this week, Netflix cheekily introduced its Drone 2 Home DVD delivery service. The Amazon Prime Air parody video shows drones delivering DVDs “to your doorstep in mere seconds”. From camping trips to the restroom, the creepy quadcopters find you anywhere.


Author | Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter
Jacques grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Keen to take over the world, one word at a time, he has always been interested in both politics and development and studied International Relations (BA) at Stellenbosch University. With an interest in innovation and social change, he seeks to tell the... More

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