Netflix Hack Day Results Include Private Listening, Personalizable Home Page

Earlier this month, Netflix engineers and designers came together in the company’s cafeteria in Los Gatos, California to spend a day of tinkering and hacking in order to try new ideas that usually wouldn’t make the cut. The company revealed some of the results of this hack day in a blog post Tuesday, and a few of them are actually quite intriguing.

Take Tetris for example. No, not the game of the same name. Instead, it’s a new take on Netflix’s desktop experience that gives users the freedom to rearrange the rows of titles presented to them. They can exclude genres, move others further up and decide themselves where the row of recently watched movies and TV shows is being displayed.

Also intriguing: QuietCast, an extension of the Netflix mobile app that makes it possible to mute your Chromecast-equipped TV, and instead have the audio of a show or movie piped to the headphones plugged into your phone. This is coincidentally already possible with Roku’s latest streaming stick, but no one has done it with Google’s Chromecast yet.

Other hack day results shown off by Netflix include a family viewing mode that lets viewers know how much of an episode other family members have watched, a virtual reality experience for the HTC Vive and a mash-up of developer tools and Minecraft.

It’s worth noting that companies often don’t turn the results of these kinds of hack days into actual products, and the fact that Netflix shared these particular hack with the world gives us some clues about their eventual fate.

 

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