This is basically a ‘Netflix and Chill’ button

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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

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.

Forget Internet of Things, Netflix explains the science beyond ‘Netflix and Chill’ button for worn out people who would like to get in a relaxed mood in no time. 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 -0.41% 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 -2.95% 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. According to the company’s presentation, once pressed, the button dims all the lights in the house and fires up Netflix. ‘The Switch’, as the button is officially called can perform other additional functions: it can turn smartphones off and prompt the ‘Do Not Disturb’ message for users.

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.

The button may soon be able to order food through special smartphone apps, but it all depends on the impression that the new device will make on users. 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. 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. Developers underline the fact that users do not require technologically advanced objects, but rather MacGyver skills to turn a regular wooden box into a universal remote controller for the house. With the growing popularity, the likes of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) are being forced to come up with ideas and products, perfect for enhancing the streaming experience.

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