A DIY Switch to automate “Netflix and chill”

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Has Netflix actually just created a ‘Netflix and chill’ button you can build for yourself?.

When you’re getting ready for an evening of Netflix binge-watching, there are a few things you need: the right lighting, takeout from your favorite restaurant, and your TV queued up to the streaming site.Netflix just introduced a prototype all-in-one device that can turn on your television, dim the lights, and fire up your Netflix queue with just the press of a button.When they aren’t stress-proofing servers and using playback data to pinpoint which episode made you binge-watch the rest of a show, Netflix engineers also like to build things.

The button, dubbed “The Switch,” makes it easier than ever to “Netflix and chill” and already has become known by that term (internet slang for hooking up in front of the TV). At the 2015 World Maker Faire this weekend, the company unveiled its prototype and instructions for a big button that it calls “The Switch.” When you hit it, The Switch dims the lights, activates your phone’s Do Not Disturb feature and gets Netflix ready for the streaming ahead. In a nod to techy do-it-yourself culture, Netflix released step-by-step instructions on its website so people can create and customize their very own switches, linked to apps and connected devices. Usually the term is a front for couples when they want to engage in, ahem, activities, but the entertainment-streaming service has crafted a button which makes your viewing experience more relaxed. The Switch can be set up to put on some mood lighting, silence calls on your smartphone, and even order food to power you through a Netflix NFLX -1.22% marathon — all with one press of the button.

Dimming the lights, switching your phone to silent and even ordering a takeaway is all within the button’s capabilities, as the video below illustrates. The small, internet-enabled piece of hardware is somewhat reminiscent of other branded products on the market, including Amazon’s AMZN -4.16% Dash Buttons, which allow customers to place online orders for anything from paper towels to instant coffee by pressing a button. While the idea is simple—a button that connects to the internet—you need basic programming skills and a working knowledge of applications programming interfaces (APIs) and web servers in order to connect the switch to apps such as the food delivery service Seamless, and to your mobile phone or other programmable devices. Calling itself The Switch, the company has provided a guide to creating the button – requiring a bit of technical competence with smart lightbulbs and a microcontroller which connects to your WiFi.

The Switch, powered by a Particle Core Arduino-compatible WiFi-enabled development kit, also has a battery, LED lights, and an infrared transmitter that mimics the signal that turns on Netflix-compatible TVs. Netflix lists everything you need (including Philips’ Hue lighting system), but you’ll want to have a basic understanding of electronics, web servers and how APIs work before getting started. Whatever your definition of “chill” may be, Netflix is encouraging people to get creative with the Switch so they can make their own customized and curated Netflix experience that much easier to attain. For the full effect, you’ll also need a smart lighting system and other equipment, which is listed on Netflix’s website along with the source code.

It also opens new opportunities to upgrade your home: The official instructions are specific to Philips Hue smart LED lightbulbs, though other brands will work. Throughout history, governments around the world have banned everything from the simplest pamphlet to the Bible — and the United States is no different.

Who knows, it might work out when you’ve have a rough day and deliver back-to-back Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt episodes to cheer you up when you get home. The part of the book that drew the most attention is the 13th episode/chapter in the book titled “Nausicaa.” It features a scene where the protagonist fantasizes about a woman. You’ll get to keep your current user name (as long as it doesn’t contain invalid characters, in which case you’ll have to go through a few extra steps to make the transfer), and all your old comments will eventually (not immediately) migrate with you.

The one-tap switch concept isn’t exactly new: Amazon in March launched the Dash Button, which offers a simple way to re-order things like paper towels, laundry detergent, coffee, and water. Today, the book continues to be labeled communist propaganda and the American Library Association lists it as one of the most challenged books of all time. This 1960 Harper Lee novel tells the story of a girl in the Jim Crow era in fictional Maycomb, Alabama, based heavily off the author’s own experiences growing up in the state. The book focuses on the protagonist, Scout, and her relationship with her community’s bigotry and how her father, Atticus, legally defends a black man accused of raping a young white woman.

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