By Nick Statt, The Verge, SouthFloridaReporter.com, Dec. 19, 2015 – We can now place “sock technology innovator” on the list of credentials Netflix would like to be known for. The streaming service this week published a DIY guide to creating a pair of holiday-themed “smart” socks capable of detecting when you’ve fallen asleep while binging on movies or TV shows. If that happens, whatever you were watching will automatically pause so you won’t lose your place.
The socks use a method of rest and activity monitoring known as actigraphy. So a built-in accelerometer will wait for you to stop moving for a prolonged period of time before sending a signal to the TV to prevent you from losing your place in Mad Men for the 20th time. An LED light will blink beforehand, notifying anyone who may just be chilling very hard to move their foot if they’re still awake and watching.
Putting the socks together is no joke. Netflix suggests knitting your own pair — naturally, the company has detailed designs for creating socks based on its various original programs. From there you must acquire an Arduino microcontroller, infrared LEDs, a battery, and an assortment of other materials to construct the monitoring unit, which requires a bit of programming to tune it your personal viewing setup. The whole package is wrapped in wool felt and slipping inside one of the socks. Netflix’s online guide comes paired with schematics, tutorials, and templates for every step, but the company suggests you have an understanding of electronics and be comfortable using a soldering iron.
The project is the second installment in the company’s “Make It” series, which brings to life ludicrous marketing ideas and provides instructions on building the contraptions yourself. The previous entry was a button that dims the lights, orders takeout, and puts on Netflix — a “Netflix and chill” button if you will.