The Netflix and Chill Button

While the people at Netflix were busy killing weekends around the world with marathon viewings of 90s sitcoms, they also found time to release the Netflix Switch. It’s a small device with a single button that will control your TV, turn off the lights, and order a pizza. Remember, time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

netflixThe Netflix Switch is a relatively simple device powered by a Particle Core, an Arduino-compatible development board with on-board WiFi. Also in this box is a LiPo battery, a few LEDs, and an IR transmitter that will send the same IR signal as the Netflix button on your TV remote, should your remote have a Netflix button.

In an unprecedented break from reality, this astute corporate branding of electronics tinkering also has design files, schematics, and real instructions that come along with it. Netflix released all of the mechanical files for their switch in Solidworks format; for the low, low price of only $4000 per Solidworks license, you too can Netflix and Chill.

Although Netflix’ implementation of tapping into a DIY electronics movement that has been around for 100 years is lacking, the spirit of the build is laudable. A single button connected to the Internet is a universal tool, and whether you want to order a pizza or make a ‘do not disturb’ button for your phone, the only limitation for the Netflix and Chill button is your imagination.

The “Effervo” Kinect Particle Effect Machine

Here’s a new hack for the Xbox Kinect called “Effervo”. It’s a really cool effect built using Openframeworks. The Kinect is setup in front of the user and the projector puts an image in front of the user’s screen. Three dimensional data about the person and his or her movements is captured using Microsoft’s sensor. As it is described, the Effervo program “uses simple iterative rules to govern its movement and gives the impression of swarm like behavior.” This may not be a “Haloween Hack”, but we could definitely see something similar used in a haunted house. Maybe it could use blood droplets instead of particles?

Maybe this hack will inspire other people to follow in [Jayson’s] footsteps. He describes himself as a “programmer turned artist.” We’d like to think that all engineering and programming work is a form of art, but the video of this piece in action after the break is especially eye-catching.

Continue reading “The “Effervo” Kinect Particle Effect Machine”