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Fitbit fans: Want your Netflix to pause when you nod off? There's almost an app for that

Food for thought from web TV biz's Hack Day

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Video A team of engineers can make a Fitbit fitness bracelet detect when a Netflix viewer wearing the gadget is falling asleep and pause the video playback accordingly.

The software – written by the streaming service's Sam Homer, Rachel Nordman, Ariene Aficial, Sam Park and Bogdan Ciuca – allows a customer watching Netflix on a tablet, phone or PC to set their devices to automatically lower the volume or pause the stream when they start to nod off.

Created during the company's internal Hack Day event, the project uses the Fitbit programming interface to access biometric data from the bracelets. Here's a video of it in action.

Youtube Video

Anyone expecting to get a Netflix-connected sleep detector any time soon should not hold their breaths, however. The code demonstrated during the Hack Day event are not meant to be part of the actual Netflix service and the company makes no guarantees that any of the projects demonstrated will ever make it to consumers.

The app could, however, inspire other would-be hackers to experiment with the integration of wearables into their set-top boxes or other home services (or they could just use them for the intended purpose of logging exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Either or.)

Fitbit offers developers and hobbyists a set of APIs which they can use to interact with data collected by the handsets. Fitbit hardware can integrate with appliances such as bathroom scales to supplement health data collected by the wearable units.

Developers can access the APIs through the Fitbit developer site. Netflix also offers some of its APIs to developers through its own portal. ®

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