Netflix DIY guide tells you how to build and program binge-watching IoT socks

18 Dec 2015

Netflix is one of the unlikeliest sources of DIY guides for makers looking to get in on the internet of things (IoT), but now the company is offering a DIY guide to building socks that know when you’ve fallen asleep.

This Christmas, there’s no doubt that the chances of you binge-watching TV shows and films as you vegetate on the couch are high, and now Netflix is offering a genius bit of marketing that can satisfy the needs of makers and knitters at the same time.

Publishing a guide online, the Netflix socks concept allows anyone watching Netflix to watch hours of their favourite TV shows on end, and when they inevitably fall asleep the socks can register that the person has gone into dreamland and will pause the show.

This sleep detection technology is not, in fact, out of reach for many and is based on actigraphy, Netflix says.

When the accelerometer detects that no movement has been made for a few minutes, it sends a signal to your TV that will pause what’s happening on the screen.

Bojack Horseman smart socks? I’m in

‘But what if I don’t move that much when watching?’, I hear you ask. Well, your socks can also contain a little LED light which will flash red when it’s about to switch off, but can be de-activated by shaking your leg.

You have to admit it’s a pretty undemanding way of ensuring a constant stream, while also stopping you developing deep-vein thrombosis, perhaps.

Aside from downloading a sock pattern from Netflix (I’d definitely go for Bojack Horseman), all you need is an Arduino board, IR LEDs, battery, momentary button, accelerometer and a 12in x 12in piece of felt.

After that, well, it’s up to you what you want to do to it, with some other suggestions being recommended by Netflix including the addition of a pulse sensor to detect your heart rate.

This isn’t the first time that Netflix has given some suggestions for makers, with it offering advice earlier this year for a ‘Netflix and chill’ button that could turn on Netflix with the press of a button.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic