Netflix Has (Kind of, Sort of, Not Really) Invented A Way to Pause Your Movie When You Fall Asleep

Friday, February 28, 2014 - 12:16 PM

Techcrunch reports that one of Netflix's engineers has devised a way to automatically pause your movie once you fell asleep. 

The idea is that you'd sync your Netflix with a personal tracking device like a FitBit, which can tell when you're asleep. When the FitBit reports you've passed out, the movie mutes or stops.

Here're the two killjoy caveats on this otherwise fun, mildly Jetsonian story.

One is that this feature was created during an internal company hack-a-thon, which means it could be the equivalent of a concept car - a neat, attention-grabbing idea that never gets implemented. The other caveat is that FitBit's mechanism for detecting when your asleep is actually pretty crude. It's based off how still you are, not your heartrate. There's a good chance that you're as still watching a movie as you are asleep. Maybe even less so. 

So, in closing, I don't know how you ought to feel about this not-quite-real, not-quite-fake idea. It probably won't be implemented, and if implemented, it probably won't work. But it's not hard to imagine something like it happening in the near future -- you'd just need slightly more nuanced sleep tracking programs. (Although, you would sort of imagine that the market for people who want fine-tuned fitness analytics hardware and the people who want their TV shows to turn off when they fall asleep might not completely overlap.) Anyway, I digress. The point is, I have no idea how anyone should feel about stories about small, possible advances in couch potato technology. Follow your hearts, everybody. 


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Comments [2]

Benly from Minnesota

In this article, the second person possessive pronoun is used where the contraction for "you are" should've been used.

Mar. 01 2014 01:53 PM

Wasn't there a big hubbub (in Congress?) around the Kinect, or somebody, observing us as we're watching TV, so they know if we're there for the commercials or have run to the bathroom for a quick wee? Seems like OTM covered this, but I could be wrong.

Feb. 28 2014 06:04 PM

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by Meredith Haggerty. You can subscribe to the TLDR podcast here. You can follow our blog here. I tweet @manymanywords and @tldr.

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