Netflix Made Socks That Pause Your Show When You Fall Asleep
First, Netflix gave us the autoplay feature. Now, the popular video streaming site wants to make sure you don’t sleep through your next binge-watching marathon.
Netflix (NFLX) on Wednesday introduced a product it calls “Netflix socks.” The wool socks feature a sewn-in electronic device that automatically pauses whatever program is streaming on Netflix when it detects that the wearer has fallen asleep. “Never again will you binge-watch yourself to sleep, only to wake up two seasons later wondering what happened,” the company wrote on its website when revealing the socks.
The electronic socks are the latest prototype product introduced by Netflix. They follow the introduction in September of “The Switch,” a wireless button that can sync with your television and other Internet-connected devices—such as the lighting system and a smartphone—to create an instant “Netflix and chill” situation.
As was the case with The Switch, the only problem with Netflix socks is that you have to make them yourself. We’re talking knitting the actual socks and wiring an electrical device complete with a microcontroller and accelerometer to detect movement. (As Netflix notes, “the accelerometer is very sensitive to little movements,” so it can tell the difference between falling asleep and simply sitting still, watching TV intently.) There’s also the small matter of banging out what Netflix deems “a little programming” to write code for the infrared signals your socks(!) will send to your TV.
Don’t worry, though, because Netflix breaks it down into eight basic steps in its handy do-it-yourself guide. The instructions even come with a whole set of intricate sock pattern designs based on Netflix original series such as Narcos, Master of None, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. (Of course, you could always just use a pair of existing socks if you’re comfortable with a soldering iron, but not a pair of knitting needles.)
Meanwhile, if you do fall asleep while binge-watching Netflix (and you’re not equipped with electronic socks) you will at least soon waste a lot less data now that the company announced a new encoding technology that will reduce bandwidth by up to 20%.