Netflix, the tech company that enabled a generation of couch potatoes to “Netflix and chill,” has released instructions for a Netflix-themed personal trainer that connects to your streaming-video account.
The device, which can be made at home, connects to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth and uses an accelerometer to monitor your activity while you work out, according to the company’s instructions. You’ll need some hardware (pdf) and technical know-how to put the device together—such as how to work a printed circuit board.
But once you’ve built it, you can indicate how hard you want to workout, and whenever you fall below that threshold, the device will pause or mute the music on your phone or tablet to share inspirational audio messages from a Netflix character of your choosing.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Kimmy Schmidt will tell you, “You can stand anything for 10 seconds. Then, you just start on a new 10 seconds.” And Queen Elizabeth’s character from The Crown will proclaim, “A revolution must come from within.” Titus Andromedon, Frankie Bergstein, Pablo Escobar, Maria Bamford, and BoJack Horseman are a few of the other characters you can select as your at-home drill sergeant.
If you stop exercising completely, Netflix will stop playing, too. It will automatically pause the video—in lieu of more motivational messaging—until you start moving again. That functionality appears to work with iOS devices, according to the instructions.
The project is part of Netflix’s Make It series of DIY tutorials, which also includes the utter opposite of a personal trainer—a button that will turn on Netflix, shut the lights, and order takeout in a single press.
Like other Netflix inventions, the personal trainer was born out of the company’s bi-annual Hack Days, which encourage employees to apply their creativity beyond their usual workloads.
Last spring, a small team of engineers came up with a concept called Commit Hack, which connects your Netflix account to fitness trackers like FitBit or Strava, or skills-based tools like Khan Academy, and allows you to set daily goals for yourself. Only once you’ve completed those goals are you be able to watch Netflix for an allotted amount of time. That inspired the idea for the Netflix Personal Trainer, the company outlined in a video.