Netflix test feature ‘Sleep Tracker’ can detect when users fall asleep

The good news is Netflix has built a feature for its service that can detect if users fall asleep while watching a movie. The bad news is that users may never get to try the feature out.

The video streaming company held a 24-hour hack day earlier this month during which staffers created numerous features that could potentially be integrated into Netflix’s service. Among them was “Sleep Tracker,” a feature that capitalizes on the technology of wearable devices to detect if users have fallen into a slumber.

In its prototype of the feature, Netflix said, it collects data from a FitBit fitness tracking device to determine whether a user is still watching or has fallen asleep. If the user is snoozing, Netflix will turn down the audio and pause whatever the user is watching.

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The next time the user wants to watch the movie or TV show she fell asleep during, Netflix will ask the user if she wants to watch starting from the moment when she fell asleep.

Netflix posted a demonstration of the Sleep Tracker feature on YouTube along with a few other features that were developed during the hack day.

Among the other features were a playlist feature, a new kind of keyboard for users who watch Netflix on video game consoles, and a feature that lets users share their accounts with friends when they come to visit. The company also built a feature that lets users with shared accounts protect their individual profiles with four-digit PINs.

Many of the features sound pretty useful, but users shouldn’t hold their breath for them. Netflix said the projects may never become a part of its product.



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