Netflix’s in-house hack days always yield some fun experiments and this year is no different, with a prospective new feature inspired by the old N64 Rumble Pak game controllers.
The Netflix Project Rumble Pak adds a layer of haptic feedback to the Netflix smartphone app in order to accentuate key moments of the action. Developed by Hans van de Bruggen and Ed Barker, it uses Immersion Corporation tech in order to synchronise an episode of Voltron to ensure the phone vibrated in time with the fight scenes.
In a post on the Netflix TechBlog, the company wrote: “You’re watching your favorite episode of Voltron when, after a suspenseful pause, there’s a huge explosion — and your phone starts to vibrate in your hands.
“The Project Rumble Pak hack day project explores how haptics can enhance the content you’re watching. With every explosion, sword clank, and laser blast, you get force feedback to amp up the excitement.”
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Of course, the project would only work on smartphones, rather than the television sets, but it would be great for younger viewers who’re often relegated to watching on the smaller screen.
You can see the Rumble Pal project in the video below:
Other notable hacks include The Voice of Netflix. Staffers Guy Cirino and Carenina Garcia Motion trained a neural net to spot words within Netflix content, which could then be used to make new sentences of the hackers’ choosing.
Another, is called Get Out!, but Abi Seshadri and Rachel Rivera’s creation has nothing to do with Netflix per se. Instead it is designed to help office workers overcome the frustration of other meetings overrunning when they’ve booked the meeting room.
The pair write: “Our hack is a simple web application that allows employees to select a Netflix meeting room anywhere in the world, and press a button to kick people out of their meeting room if they have overstayed their meeting. First, the app looks up calendar events associated with the room and finds the latest meeting in the room that should have already ended. It then automatically calls in to that meeting and plays walk-off music similar to the Oscar’s to not-so-subtly encourage your colleagues to Get Out!”
Smart and satisfying.