Designed to pause the streaming service if you happen to fall asleep during a Jessica Jones marathon, Netflix announced a new do-it-yourself project called the Netflix Socks. Utilizing technology like an accelerometer and a microcontroller, the socks will actually detect when the user stops moving. When that happens, the socks will fire off a pause signal to halt the progress of the current television show or movie streaming on Netflix.
Netflix posted details of the DIY project at makeit.netflix.com as well as a variety of sock templates modeled after original Netflix shows such as The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Daredevil, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Jessica Jones. It’s possible more sock templates will be released as more original programming appears on the streaming service.
The technology within the DIY socks includes an Arduino microcontroller, IR LEDs, a LED indicator light, a battery and an accelerometer. While any substitute parts can be used in building the DIY project, the Netflix team used an Arduino Pro Trinket due to the small size, a 500mAh battery and wide-angle IR LEDs in order to capture most angles when passed out on the couch taking a nap.
Of course, a bit of programming will be required to get the socks up and running. If anyone wants to attempt to improve on Netflix’s design, the Netflix team recommends experimenting with pulse sensors to pause or start a show when the sensor detects a change in a user’s heart rate.
Another improvement could be an “IR-emitting base station” that communicates with a transceiver in order to pause programming. This could be ideal when curled up under a blanket, basically any situation in which line-of-sight is a problem.
You can find the complete instructions to build the Netflix Socks here. Of course, this isn’t the first DIY project released by Netflix. Earlier this year, Netflix introduced a “Netflix and Chill” button that dims the lights, puts your phone on silent and pulls up Netflix.