Check Out Netflix's Newest Invention, Socks That Pause The TV When You Fall Asleep

One of the many benefits of a late night Netflix binge at home is that there’s often nobody else awake to judge you for watching the fifth episode in a row. By the time that you get to six or seven, however, you may not be awake much longer yourself, and the sense of frustration from waking up to discover that Netflix has kept playing episodes of House of Cards or BoJack Horseman while you’ve been asleep is deep. Sure, you can go back and figure out the last thing you saw, but it would be so much more convenient if Netflix could just know to shut off when you do fall sleep. Fortunately, Netflix has invented socks that can in fact pause the stream when your lids eventually shut.

Yes, socks as in footwear. The socks involve using an accelerometer for something way more fun than a work out. An accelerometer is embedded inside a pair of socks to detect when you stop moving and send a signal to your TV to stop streaming. Sadly, these socks are not available to order in time for the holidays. Netflix instead offers a step-by-step guide (opens in new tab) to creating the socks yourself.

Luckily for the tech wizards among us, the guide is very clear. For the less technologically savvy, however, we might have to stall at the list of materials. Socks, battery, and accelerometer are easy enough, but the instructions for installing the “Arduino microcontroller” may be more likely to put us to sleep than a complicated fourth episode of The X-Files. Still, Netflix does provide a detailed schematic (opens in new tab) for building the device that looks relatively simple, as far as footwear technology that requires a soldering iron goes. Here's the micro-tutorial:

Of course, there’s more to making Netflix socks than constructing technology. Netflix very helpfully offers patterns for Netflix-themed knitting, including socks with insignia from original programming such as Daredevil and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Attaching a sensor to socks looks simple enough, but things get complicated again for those of us who still aren’t 100% sure what all of the buttons on our remote controls do. Setting up the signals to connect sensor to television certainly looks more frustrating than picking out which pattern to use for the comfy socks.

As complicated as they may seem to construct, the convenience of Netflix socks may well be enough to get plenty of us to try it. At the very least, the do-it-yourself guide might be enough to start a lucrative business for the handier and dandier to start a mail-order business. The temptation to do a Risky Business slide in Netflix socks to start off a Tom Cruise marathon is just too great not to want to at least try. The future is possible with Netflix, and the future is fuzzy.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.