The human race is getting lazier with each passing year, and now the technology to control Netflix with your mind could be closer than we think. This is truly one story that seems like it nudges humanity close to a future like that in the Pixar film WALL-E, which features a whole race of very obese humans riding on floating chairs because they’re too lazy to walk.
MindFlix comes out of Netflix’s Hack Day
Like many major tech firms, Netflix hosts a Hack Day, allowing its employees to dream up anything they want and try to build it. In past years, employees built their own “Netflix and Chill” switch at Hack Day.
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This time around, in a blog post, the video streaming firm highlighted MindFlix as one of its favorite Hack Day products. The idea behind it is simple: control Netflix with your mind. In reality, it seems like mostly gesture-based controls, but there are some mind controls included in the idea.
Keep in mind that this idea is just that… an idea. Netflix engineers came up with the hardware as a proof of concept to show off the possibilities of technology. In the video, the idea is described as a modified “brain reading headband” which reads brain activity and then applies it to various actions.
How MindFlix works
MindFlix is based on the Muse headband, a wearable device that’s aimed at helping its users alter their brain to make themselves more calm. In adapting the headband to work with Netflix, engineers programmed it to translate brain waves so that the wearer can just think “play,” and then the streaming service will begin playing the show.
The headband also enables gesture controls with the streaming service, thus requiring at least some movement—although minimal. The user can navigate through the various menus on Netflix using specific head movements like a nod or a turn to the side.
Other ideas from Hack Day
Of course MindFlix and all of the other ideas that came out of the Winter 2017 Hack Day might never become real offerings, whether part of Netflix or anywhere else.
Other products the company revealed in its blog post include Stranger Bling, which is a Stranger Things sweater with LEDs soldered to it and controlled wirelessly using an Arduino. It spelled out messages from the Upside Down. The event also brought Netflix for Good, an interesting idea which allows viewers to donate to organizations from inside the company’s app after watching “socially conscious titles” on the streaming service.