These New Socks Will Pause Netflix If You Chill Too Much (Video)
One major takeaway from 2015’s internet culture is “Netflix & Chill,” a phrase that took on a life of its own in the form of memes, Vines, jokes, and more. For those not in the know, it refers to that all-too-frequent occurrence when two (or more, depending on what kind of party it is) people make plans to hang out and watch Netflix, only to inevitably lose interest in what’s on screen and focus more on what’s really going down. The long-running joke has become such a cultural phenomenon that Netflix itself addressed it, incorporating a button that would allow for the automatic dimming of lights, silencing of smartphones, and Netflix streaming. Alas, Netflix calls it “the Switch,” but everyone knows where the inspiration came from. And, of course, there’s that one guy who won Halloween this year with his Netflix & Chill costume.
What’s really at play here is the fact that after a lack of interaction, the Netflix service pauses video streaming to ask “are you still watching?” It helps the company save bandwidth by discontinuing video play for folks who have fallen asleep or taken up other activities. Generally speaking, if two episodes of a series are watched without the viewer manually clicking through to the next episode, Netflix assumes you’re no longer watching, and now the company minds themselves are getting in on the (foot)action. New socks that will pause Netflix when you fall asleep are the result of a partnership between Netflix and the same company that helped them design “the Switch,” and in the video below, you can see them in use. According to Netflix, “We’ve based our sleep detection system on a popular method called actigraphy. An accelerometer detects when you’ve stopped moving for a prolonged period of time and triggers a signal to your TV that pauses Netflix. When it detects that you’ve dozed off, an LED light in the cuff of the sock flashes red, warning that the pause signal is about to be sent to your TV. Any motion will stop it from firing.”
The socks come with “some assembly required.” They aren’t the most practical stocking stuffer, but certainly indicative of Netflix’s growing influence on television-watching behavior. Check ’em out.