Netflix’s DIY smart socks hit pause when you fall asleep

Gotta put these on before watching Kimmy Schmidt.
Gotta put these on before watching Kimmy Schmidt.
Image: Netflix
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Netflix has a solution for all the people who’ve fallen asleep while binge watching a show: DIY smart socks that automatically hit pause when they detect viewers have dozed off.

On Wednesday (Dec. 16), the streaming company released a set of instructions to create sensor-laden socks from scratch. This isn’t the first guide the company has released for DIY enthusiasts looking to enhance their viewing experience. In September, the company came out with a tutorial for a Netflix switch that dims the lights, silences incoming calls, orders takeout, and turns on the streaming service.

For these smart socks, Netflix has provided 17 sock pattern templates inspired by its most popular shows, including Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Master of None, and House of Cards.

Aside from a bit of knitting know-how, the socks require some soldering and programming skills. They rely on an accelerometer to detect motion, infrared LEDs to control the TV, an LED indicator light to alert viewers that it will soon hit pause (which viewers can prevent by moving their feet), and an Arduino microcontroller to make it all happen. The electronics are then embedded in felt and sewn to the cuff of the sock, which means they can’t be thrown in the wash—these socks are strictly for kicking back.

For hackers looking for a bit of a challenge, there are additional instructions to enhance the socks’ signal if there’s no clear line of sight between them and the TV, and to improve their accuracy by detecting sleep using a heart rate sensor.

So go ahead, binge watch without fear of losing your place in Master of None.