Netflix Hack Day, according to one of its company blog posts, is an event that’s intended to give Netflix’s (NASDAQ:NFLX) product development team the chance to ‘take a break from everyday work, have fun, experiment with new technologies, and collaborate with new people.’ It’s held once or twice a year, with each Netflix employee being given 24 hours to come up with a unique concept that can help improve their website or user experience, then build their ‘hack’.
For this particular hackathon, one of the most talked about innovations is a mind control gadget called ‘MindFlix’. It uses a Muse headband that measures brain signals to help users meditate. That’s the original use of the headband. But for the hackathon, Netflix’s engineers hacked it so that it can be used not for meditation, but for video watching.
The YouTube video demonstrating how MindFlix works, couldn’t have been any clearer — MindFlix is the perfect gift for all the certified couch potatoes in the world who are as lazy as they can get.
In the video (posted below), a man is shown sitting on the couch watching TV. Another guy sits beside him, and asks him what he was watching. It turns out that he was just watching whatever it was on screen for the past 2 – 3 hours. He couldn’t watch something else because ‘the remote’s too far’ he says, though in reality, the remote was less than a foot away. He is then given the MindFlix and was told to ‘nod up’ to scroll up a category, then move his head to the left to scroll across the category. And when he found the selection he wanted to watch, he was instructed to ‘think play’. And wouldn’t you know it — the video began playing! The lazy guy was elated, of course, saying how great the thing was, and obviously happy about the prospect that he doesn’t ever have to move again.
As interesting as the concept of a mind-reading remote control device might be, we shouldn’t get too excited about it. According to Netflix, hackathon inventions are not likely to see the light of day. As stated in their blog post: “While we’re excited about the creativity and thought put into these hacks, they may never become part of the Netflix product, internal infrastructure, or otherwise be used beyond Hack Day.”
Aside from MindFlix, other notable ‘hacks’ include ‘Picture in Picture’ which allows you to see what other profiles on their account are watching; ‘Stranger Games’ — a sort of video game version of ‘Stranger Things’; and ‘Netflix for Good’ which allows users to make donations to some well-known charitable organizations.