Like many forward thinking companies, Netflix sponsors its own Hack Day, an in-house competition for generating innovative ideas. The goal of the Netflix Hack Day is mostly just to have fun, but hey, if something cool comes out of it you never know, they may end up incorporating it into their service.
The most recent Netflix Hack Day was held last week. The employees started their projects on Thursday with many of them working through the night to make the following days deadline. Because they have only 24 hours to complete them, their projects may appear a little rough around the edges.
One of our favorites used a FitBit activity tracker that paused the playback of a video if it detected that the wearer had fallen asleep. The app also created a bookmark so that the person could have the option of restarting the video at the same point where they drifted off. Sounds pretty handy to us.
Check out the video demo:
ARVE Error: src mismatch
src in org: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/tMKDEH8KTak?wmode=transparent&rel=0&feature=oembed
src in mod: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/tMKDEH8KTak?wmode=transparent&rel=0
src gen org: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/tMKDEH8KTak
There was also a project that used Apple’s iBeacon technology for a better sharing experience between multiple Apple products.
ARVE Error: src mismatch
src in org: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/_8sA7ON7Q3o?wmode=transparent&rel=0&feature=oembed
src in mod: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/_8sA7ON7Q3o?wmode=transparent&rel=0
src gen org: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/_8sA7ON7Q3o
We would have to agree with many of the comments that people left on the Netflix site, the playlist hack is one they should incorporate immediately. And for the gamers out there who view Netflix through their gaming system, the radial project demonstrated a much better way to enter alphanumeric information than what is currently available. Instead of clicking repeatedly through a grid of letters and numbers, the values are arranged in a circle. Spinning an alpha wheel on the game controller allows you to select the value you want similar to using an old fashioned combination lock. Speedy… and smart!
Netflix makes no guarantee that ANY of these will become a reality anytime soon. So what’s a tech fan to do if they don’t want to wait? DO IT THEMSELVES!! That’s what. A few of these projects, especially the sleep/pause hack using an activity tracker, would be pretty easy to do even without an API (application programming interface) or SDK (software development kit) from Netflix. Would you like to know how? There are an ever-increasing number of public hackathons out there that you can attend that will teach you exactly that. There is a big one in San Francisco next week for Wearable Technology development called Wearables DevCon. Click on their banner for more info. We are also media sponsors for a few others, like the Android Developer’s Conference, AnDevCon, coming up in May in Boston.
If you are holding your own hackathon or know of any conferences that involve wireless technology and would like to attend, please let us know. Not only will we list the event on our site, QTOOTH often has a need for roving reporters or, at the very least, might be able to get you in at a discount. Hit us up on our contact page or join our mailing list.