Binge-watching a particularly addictive TV show on Netflix has its perils.
We don’t mean the fact that you may not leave the house for three days, a nutritional intake consisting solely of Doritos and Tunnock’s Tea Cakes or the total neglect of personal hygiene. No, we’re simply talking about the chance of nodding off while your programme plays on. Boom. You’ve only gone and lost your place, and now have to sift through several episodes of Breaking Bad/Daredevil/Homeland/House of Cards to find it.
It’s an absolute nightmare. Or at least a slightly more than minor annoyance. Thankfully, Netflix itself has dreamt up a solution: smart socks. We’re talking connected foot-warmers able to detect when the wearer has fallen asleep and send a signal to their TV that pauses whatever’s playing on Netflix. And you can make them yourself.
Netflix has created a step-by-step guide to creating a pair of said smart socks, including a batch of knitting patterns based on shows including Bloodline, Narcos, Bojack Horseman and Orange Is The New Black. You’ll need to be able to knit (or know someone who’s a dab hand with a pair of needles) if you want to make those, but if fiddling around with a soldering iron is more your thing, you can just build the electronics segment and incorporate that into a pre-made pair of socks.
The socks use an accelerometer which detects that the wearer has stopped moving. It’s designed to be sensitive enough to know the difference between you sitting still but awake and fast asleep, but as a failsafe it activates a red LED if it’s about to send the pause signal. If you see the LED shine, shake a leg and the pause signal will be cancelled.
You’ll also need an Arduino microcontroller, infrared LEDs, a battery, some wire and a piece of felt. And a can-do attitude. Head over here to see the entire guide and download the knitting patterns. Sounds like a perfect gift for any telly addict this Christmas.