Hold on to Your Socks. They’ll Help You Watch Netflix


Those are some smart (and sassy) socks! YouTube screengrab
Those are some smart (and sassy) socks! YouTube screengrab

We've all been there. You settle down at the end of a long day and turn on Netflix. You select a series, preparing for an evening of gleeful binge-watching. But then, 10 minutes into the third episode of "Jessica Jones," you nod off. When you wake up, you're in the middle of episode five, and you have no idea what's going on.

What if Netflix knew when you were getting drowsy and shut off automatically so that you never missed a moment?

That's the premise behind Netflix socks. At its heart, we're talking about a pretty simple idea. The socks rely on an accelerometer to determine if you've fallen asleep. If you stop moving for a while, the sensor indicates that you might be drifting off. An Arduino microcontroller then sends a signal to an LED light to flash. If you still don't move after the light flashes, the microcontroller sends another command to an infrared LED to pause your show.

Where do I buy such magic socks, I hear you cry. You don't. Netflix actually explains how you can make a pair of your own. It takes a little skill with a soldering iron and knitting needles (if you want a custom pair of socks — otherwise you can just use a pair you already own). The instructions list all the materials you'll need and how to connect them to create your own pair so that you never miss a moment of your favorite shows again.

You're also welcome to submit your own DIY ideas on how to improve upon the experience of sitting down to watch content on Netflix. We suggest a device that automatically detects who is on screen so that you never have to ask, “Where have I seen this guy before?”



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