How many times have you turned on Netflix after a long day’s work and settled in to watch a movie or TV show on a mobile device, only to fall asleep a short time later and wake up the next day to find that you’ve missed most of the entire thing and then can’t even remember where you left off? If you’re perpetually sleepy after you turn on your favorite Netflix selection, then you’ll love what the engineers at the company came up with for Netflix’s Hack Day, where the company’s tech-savvy employees get to showcase their ideas on how to improve viewer experience: a digital sleep bookmark that works with Fitbit to sense when you’ve fallen asleep and allows you pick up where you left off so that taking an impromptu nap doesn’t mean you have to start your show or movie over.
Data Tracks Your Sleeping Patterns
Netflix engineers developed this hack by using data supplied from Fitbit devices, which use wireless technology to record and track the wearer’s activity during the day, such as how many steps they’ve taken and how many calories they burned. Fitbit also has the ability to track sleep patterns of the wearer, which made engineers wonder if they could connect this technology with Netflix to create a more personalized viewing experience. When tested, the hack used Fitbit technology and data to sense when the viewer had stopped moving, and then sent this data to Netflix’s network, which faded and then turned off any movie that was being played on a wireless device, such as a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. When the viewer woke back up and turned the device back on, the video would begin playing again from where it left off instead of starting over.
While this is just one of the innovative hacks created by Netflix for Hack Day, there is no word about whether the company plans to make the technology part of its regular service.