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Netflix invented socks that can pause video when you fall asleep

Published Dec 17th, 2015 3:23PM EST
Netflix Socks

Netflix is all about funky DIY projects these days. First came the ‘Netflix and Chill’ button, and soon after that came an old 1950s TV capable of streaming Netflix content.

But Netflix’s latest hacking project may take the cake for both ingenuity and, perhaps, lunacy. Behold: Netflix socks. Netflix’s comical foray into clothing has a lot more to it than meets the eye. You see, Netflix socks are embedded with sensors designed to detect when you fall asleep. And when you do fall asleep after a few hours of binge watching, say, Bojack Horseman or House of Cards, the socks will automatically pause your Netflix stream.

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I mean, on the totem pole of comical first world problems, you don’t get much higher than complaining about losing  your spot in a TV show or movie after falling asleep.

But what makes the Netflix socks project so damn cool is that Netflix is making it easy for the Netflix-loving and cold feet-having crowd to make a pair of their own.

As for how it works, Netflix’s sleep detection technology relies upon nothing more than an accelerator programmed to detect when you’ve stopped moving for a sufficient length of time to be deemed fully asleep.

But what happens if you just so happen to be watching Netflix while keeping your feet motionless? Will your Netflix stream cut out abruptly? Not to fear, Netflix’s sock prototype comes equipped with an LED light on the cuff of the sock which begins to flash red when you haven’t moved in a while. If you’re still awake, simply move your foot gently and the stream will continue playing uninterrupted.

Too bad Skymall closed up shop as this type of product would have felt right at home in the iconic travel mag.

And for your hacking pleasure, Netflix even posted extensive instructions on how to make your own pair of Netflix socks.

The full list of required materials reads as follows:

  • Knit socks
  • Arduino microcontroller
  • IR LEDs
  • LED indicator light
  • Battery
  • Momentary button
  • Accelerometer
  • 12” x 12” piece of felt

The instructions, though, do come with this word of caution: “To build the sensor, you’ll need an understanding of electronics and microcontroller programming, and be comfortable around a soldering iron.”

Video of the design process can be viewed below.


Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.