Consumer News

Control Netflix With Your Mind

We fully understand: When you say you’re “doing nothing” all day, you mean it! And doing nothing doesn’t mean using up all of this extra thumb energy trying to find the next show on Netflix. Well, you can now actually sit back and relax, as engineers over at Netflix have been testing a new concept which allows users to browse all they want without ever lifting a finger.

The Consumerist reports that during Netflix’s annual Hack Day last week at company headquarters, product developers have 24 hours to collaborate on new ideas and technologies. One team’s contribution was MindFlix, a prototype device that uses a Muse meditation headband to navigate the Netflix menu.

“Instead of implanting chips in our brains for Hack Day, we decided to take this brain reading head band to really put it to the test,” one of the four Netflix engineers behind the device explains in a video about the project.

Another engineer demonstrates the device, nodding up or down, left or right, to peruse options on the screen. “Now think, ‘play,’” another engineer urges, and lo and behold, the content begins to play.

What’s not clear from the video is just how much your “brain” is involved in this browsing. The actions demonstrated in the quick clip all seem motion based — turning and nodding your head to browse; pushing your head forward to press “play” — which may indicate that MindFlix is just using the device’s accelerometer.

Is it a super cool idea, especially for the laziest among us? Sure, but as Netflix notes, these hacks might never become a real product or part of the internal infrastructure, and instead, serve mainly to entertain.

“We are posting them here publicly to share the spirit of the event and our culture of innovation,” Netflix notes.

Other fruits of Hack Day include a Christmas sweater that spells out phrase a la Stranger Things title credits and also a Stranger Things video game; a tool that allows Netflix users to donate to good causes from inside the app; and a picture-in-picture function that lets you see what other profiles on your account are watching at the same time.

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