New inventions at Netflix’s semi-annual ‘Hack Day’

Roughly every six months, Netflix hosts a “Hack Day” to celebrate innovations within the tech community and allows their developers to invent new strategies to enhance the future.

The most recent Hack Day took place on Jan. 30, and many new technological innovations were presented.

According to Netflix developer Daniel Jacobsen, “Hack Day is a way for our product development team to take a break from everyday work, have fun, experiment with new technologies, and collaborate with new people.”

Hackers and developers are given just 24 hours to create something new. “Each Hack Day, we see a wide range of ideas on how to improve the product and internal tools as well as some that are just meant for fun,” said Jacobsen.

One of the new innovations is MindFlix, which allows Netflix users to change and browse through content with their brain. Ben Hands, Sagar Patil, Steve Henderson and Andy Law were the developers of the invention, which uses a Muse Headband made by InteraXon which reads brainwaves.

Another idea, called Netflix for Good, incorporates a link for giving donations to a cause mentioned in every documentary on the site. According to developers David Zelniker, Jwalant Shah and Sudarshan Lamkhede, “After watching socially conscious titles on Netflix, Netflix for Good allows users to donate to related and well known organizations from inside the Netflix app.”

The idea behind Picture for Picture, another Hack Day creation, is to see what other people on your Netflix account are watching. Created by Matthew Kelly, the program lets the user know when other people are streaming and what show they are streaming via pop-up videos.

Despite the creative ideas, Jacobson says these innovations will most likely never appear on the Netflix platform. “While we’re excited about the creativity and thought put into these hacks, they may never become part of the Netflix product, internal infrastructure, or otherwise be used beyond Hack Day,” said Jacobsen.

To view more inventions presented on this Hack Day or any previous Hack Day event, visit Netflix’s technology blog at techblog.netflix.com.

COURTESY OF INTERAXON

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