Netflix has just introduced the switch, which can turn on your TV, pull up Netflix, dim your lights, silence your phone, and order takeout — all with a single press of the button. Interestingly, the streamer isn’t selling it (at least not now); instead, instructions are provided, giving users the chance to try their hand at making their own. It doesn’t necessarily look easy, but according to Netflix, if you know your way around a soldering iron and have “a solid understanding of electronics and programming,” you should be good to go. The rest of us have to hope the switch or an equivalent project hits shelves someday.
Along with know-how, you’ll need a button, a microcontroller, a polymer lithium ion battery with a Micro USB jack, a transistor, a resistor kit, an infrared LED, and custom enclosure to construct your own.
If you have the skill to make your Netflix switch, it does seem like you’d eventually save enough time prepping for a movie night to offset the time you spent constructing it. Plus, you’d get to be proud of yourself for putting together such a cool device. You might even want to subtly brag about it on nights when you do Netflix and chill.
As for what Netflix gets out of this, it’s a good publicity stunt. After all, it’s rare that a company provides users with instructions for how to make their own product instead of just selling them the product itself. The switch calls attention to the fact that the company is constantly innovating and that it wants our ideas. The streamer’s website not only shares instructions for how to make the switch, but also encourages users to submit ideas for ways to keep improving the Netflix experience.