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Netflix Engineers Developed a Rumble Pack Feature During Latest Hack Day

A duo of Netflix employees had a unique idea for making the service’s shows even more stirring: They added a rumble pack option to the Netflix app as part of the company’s latest hack day. When watching shows like “Voltron,” the feature makes phones vibrate in sync with the action on the screen, similar to the way game controller rumble packs translate explosions and more into haptic feedback.

However, the Project Rumble Pack hack is just that — a quick hack, put together in 24 hours as part of one of the company’s hack days. Netflix has been holding these kinds of events for its developers, and anyone else with creative ideas, for the last couple of years.

Hack Day Projects aren’t developed to become part of the company’s apps, and are instead meant as a way to build community within the company. “It’s not about innovation for the product,” the company’s vice president of engineering Daniel Jacobson told Variety in 2017 during an extensive behind-the-scenes look at a previous hack day.

This also means that consumers likely won’t ever get to enjoy the rumble pack in the wild. The same is true for most other projects — and some are clearly not meant for consumers to begin with. Netflix engineers often also use hack days to build improvements for the company’s own facilities.

This year around, this included a hack that helps to kick coworkers out of conference rooms after their time is up — with an Oscar-worth orchestra playoff, no less.

Netflix detailed some of the other hacks coming out of its most recent hack day on its tech blog; previous years’ efforts included space travel, eye-tracking for navigation and even mind control.

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