While its grip has lessened in recent years, Netflix's control on our viewing habits is still massive. It's so easy to binge watch an entire season of a new TV show you discovered with the only nuisance being the "Are you still watching?" prompt you need to pick up the remote to answer. At least until you can control it hands-free, right? Like, say, with just moving your eyes?
Hack Day Fall 2018 - Eye Nav www.youtube.com
That day might be sooner than you think. During Netflix's recent Hack Day, their engineers developed a bunch of new ideas. Some were silly, like a button that jumps to the shark scenes in Sharknado.
The Eye Nav seems just as ridiculous at first, but has some real potential. It allows you to control the Netflix App on an iPhone by moving your eye. It uses the sensors that allow for accurate Face ID scanning to read which part of the screen you're staring at, and make a selection. Sticking your tongue out acts as a 'dismiss'.
People seem excited for the possibilities
Netflix doing their part to make technology more accessible! Amazing what can be done with technology these days. https://t.co/Ztuj47XlHD— MicroAge (@MicroAge)1541779770.0
If @netflix were to actually implement this in its mobile app, it might be enough to make me switch to an #iPhoneX.… https://t.co/mx05qzmDVe— Tommy Palladino (@Tommy Palladino)1541786080.0
This is pretty cool: using ARKit to allow control of the Netflix app using eye movements and, to stop and go back,… https://t.co/bXo4y7Hjit— Tom Standage (@Tom Standage)1541751512.0
@bcs 👀That’s amazing! 👀 https://t.co/2JHXXzckOf— Archives IT (@Archives IT)1541946438.0
Stare at the screen to select your favourite Netflix show. Stick your tongue out to cancel a screen. Netflix tracki… https://t.co/fygZqo3Xxc— Deepesh Kumar (@Deepesh Kumar)1542169699.0
Cool video showing new Netflix accessibility tech. Stick your tongue out to stop a video. 😛 Hack Day Fall 2018 - Ey… https://t.co/EbSmdMUC9f— Patrick Kijek (@Patrick Kijek)1542246161.0
Personally, I would choose Eye Nav! https://t.co/OMmfvLKeS2 #Netflix #Hollywood https://t.co/bs5xjNzl6n— Lawrence Lewis (@Lawrence Lewis)1541623297.0
Now before you start bellyaching about how this is going to make us even lazier, keep in mind, this was thrown together in 24 hours for Hack Day, and may never be planned to be released to the general public. In any case, it's far from finished. Additionally, it has real potential as an accessibility feature.
However, not everyone was on board with the idea.
Listing this under things I can’t imagine myself using. lol Netflix introduces new browsing technology "Eye Nav" https://t.co/63m06LWu8n— Mike Bibbins (@Mike Bibbins)1542237659.0
@Inc This is already available on iPhone ios, not new. With an app, you can control your phone by where you look an… https://t.co/JyOA8425zd— MikeF (@MikeF)1542213077.0
@Inc They finally put something different on? Besides garbage?— Kenneth Kimbley III (@Kenneth Kimbley III)1542214255.0
@verge @netflix :Still watching?” Me, lying on the couch: *waggles tongue at camera* Netflix: “Nice”— Ryan U (@Ryan U)1541736681.0
In the past, Netflix's Hack Days have spawned strange ideas like a one button mode, which uses Morse code to search, or putting Netflix on the NES. On the more useful end, they came up with Audiobook mode, which would use the Audio Description mode available on shows to treat them more like an audiobook.