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Future Tech: 

The ‘smart socks’ from Netflix that pause TV when you fall asleep


Netflix has come up with the perfect solution to avoid falling asleep and missing your favourite shows; ‘smart socks’ that pause the current show when you start to doze off.

How many times have you found yourself waking up from a mini slumber (with added drool for effect) only to find that you’ve just missed one of the most crucial aspects of a storyline you’ve been following for about a fortnight? Well, no more, thanks to the Netflix prototype ‘Netflix Socks’. Not only has the company tried and tested these socks itself, it’s also made the instructions available to everyone online (see video below). Thanks guys.

The socks work based on actigraphy; an accelerometer detects when you’ve stopped moving for a little while, making the assumption that you must have fallen asleep. A red LED light starts to flash when you’ve been immobile for a while, a signal to you (if you see it) that your show is about to be paused. If you move having seen the light then the countdown to pausing your show stops.

The idea lends itself to potential avenues for wearable tech in the future. Perhaps integrating this technology into smartwatches, with a little vibrating sensation as you doze off just to remind you that you’re on the verge of missing a huge plot twist.

If you want to knit a pair of Netflix socks for yourself, then there is a tech element. As mentioned on the company’s website, “To build the sensor, you’ll need an understanding of electronics and micro controller programming, and be comfortable around a soldering iron.” So if these aren’t your strongest areas, maybe think about getting a tech-savvy friend involved to repay that I.O.U from last year.

Despite the potentially intimidating construction, it’s a great idea showing Netflix’s willingness to innovate through more than just its programming.

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