Netflix hack day creates clever audiobook mode

Like all good employers, Netflix realizes that the people it employs have a lot of good ideas that if revealed may benefit the company. And so the Netflix Hack Day was created, which allows Netflix employees to "take a break from everyday work, have fun, experiment with new technologies, and collaborate with new people."

The Hack Days usually reveal some clever ideas, such as a sleep tracker, and the latest (7th) running of the Hack Day didn't disappoint. Ideas included a Netflix Kiosk for areas of the world where credit cards and broadband aren't common, TeleFlix, which decodes Morse Code as input from an original 1920s brass AT&T telegraph key, and Spookyflix, which adds eye movement to the images on Netflix by tracking your remote's position (yes, it's as creepy as it sounds).

My favorite though, is Netflix Audiobook Mode.

While the whole purpose of having a Netflix subscription is to watch content, sometimes that's not always possible or you want to do other things at the same time, for example, cook or need to leave the house. It's possible to do other things and still listen, and that's where Audiobook Mode comes in. It combines audio descriptions for shows with the original audio track to create a more audio-rich experience.

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As the video above demonstrates, Audiobook Mode works really well to enhance the experience of listening, rather than watching a show. Imagine "watching" Netflix only using headphones or while driving.

One final hack worth mentioning is called Continue Binge Watching. Binge watching our favorite shows has become quite common, but keeping track of where you've got to or how much is left to watch of any given series could be easier. Continue Binge Watching aims to solve that problem by visualizing entire shows with a rope and making it clear where you are in the timeline. It's simple, yet very effective.

I suspect Continue Binge Watching has the highest chance of being turned into a real feature available on Netflix. I'd like to say Audiobook Mode will be too, but I imagine the combination of audio tracks could cause a legal headache for Netflix.

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