Netflix’s semi-regular company hack events usually produce some pretty awesome ways to combine the streaming video service with gadgets or third-party services — and this year is no different.
Today the company revealed a slew of hacked Netflix apps that enhance the TV show or movie watching experience in unexpected ways. For instance, there’s a “Netflix Hue” app that uses the Philips Hue smart lighting kit to change the color and intensity of the lighting to match whatever you’re watching. As you’ll see in the demo video below, the ambient lighting changes to match the background as you browse through titles and attempts to match the lighting while a video is playing. It seems like it works pretty well and is definitely something I wish Netflix would fully support for the cool factor alone.
Another developer hacked Netflix to work with virtual reality hardware Oculus Rift. The “Oculix” app lets you view the Netflix menu as if it filled the entire room. You can even navigate using your hands, as shown in the video below. Other hacks include a text-based console version of Netflix’s UI called “Nerdflix,” an alternate Netflix UI design called “Circle of Life,” and a Google Chrome browser extension called “Netflix Mini” that displays a tiny video player in the corner while you surf the net.
While all of this year’s Netflix hacks are cool, I’m not sure any of them top last year’s Sleep Tracker app. (That particular hack saw company engineers use a Fitbit activity bracelet to sense when your body goes to sleep and bring you back to the last moment you remember when you finally wake up.)
Check out Netflix’s blog post for a roundup of all the Netflix hacks from this year’s hack day.