Falling asleep mid-movie? Netflix-Fitbit hack may be a solution
Among the sites apparently affected were Twitter, Netflix, and Sony's PlayStation Network. (AP / Elise Amendola)
Daniel Bitonti, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, February 28, 2014 10:14AM EST
It’s a devastating problem that happens to so many people: You’re holding your tablet in bed, watching your favourite show on Netflix, and you doze off. The next day, when you log back into your account, you simply can’t remember where you were in the program.
There’s now a hack for that.
As part of Netflix’s Hack Day, where employees at the company were encouraged to come up with creative ways to make a viewer’s experience better, engineers figured out how to automatically prompt a computer or television to create a “Sleep Bookmark,” when a user falls asleep.
Engineers discovered this could be achieved by using technology developed by Fitbit, a company that offers numerous wearable wireless products that can digitally track a person’s daily activities, including the number of steps walked as well as sleep patterns.
Netflix engineers were able to figure out how to communicate Fitbit data to a wireless device playing a Netflix video. When one engineer wearing the Fitbit device fell asleep, the audio on their Netflix video faded back and then stopped playing. When the person woke back up, she was able to resume the video at the point where she fell asleep.
Netflix’s Tech Blog showcases a number of other hacks developed by company engineers. The company says, however, that the hacks may never become part of the Netflix product.