Netflix actually made a Netflix and Chill button, and you can too

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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

The streaming video service Netflix unveiled its latest invention this weekend—a single button that, when pressed, will dim the lights, activate your phone’s “do not disturb” mode, order take out, and queue up Netflix for an evening of binge-watching.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.In an odd move, on-demand video streaming provider Netflix has released instructions on how to build a Netflix Switch, a device that it says will help facilitate all the activities pertinent to a movie marathon.

By now the term “Netflix and chill” is probably one that you’ve heard, and now it looks like Netflix themselves have decided to embrace the term and have even created their own “Netflix and chill” button. 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. 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 website recommends that interested parties should at least be comfortable with soldering irons, and have a “solid understanding of electronics and programming.” Underneath the deceptively simplistic exterior of the Netflix Switch, there are electronics such as the Particle Core, a microcontroller with built-in WiFi. 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. 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. From there, users add code relevant to a particular service or API, such as instructions for summoning food or silencing your phone—Netflix has conveniently provided the Android app source code for the latter on the website. 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.

While certainly out-of-the-box, Netflix’s foray into maker culture—a technology-centric initiative typically focused on electronic genesis—is a little belated. Personally, I could not do this.” If you have no experience cobbling something like this together, you’d be out of luck as it does not appear that Netflix will be selling the actual device. Big companies are buying homebrew ventures like Makerbot for millions of dollars, while brands like General Electric are supplying maker groups with equipment and spaces to work.

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. Earlier this year, Amazon released the Dash Button, a small $5 device that can order a specific product from the retailer and have it delivered with just a single button press.

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