Piggybacking on the runaway success of the “Netflix and Chill” meme, the streaming video giant is playfully announcing its entrance into the hardware space.
The company has unveiled its design for a gadget that can dim your lights and fire up Netflix simultaneously at the push of a button. It’s a literal Netflix and Chill button, and Netflix is clearly in on the joke—the joke being that the phrase is a millennial euphemism for using Netflix as a pretext for having sex.
Anyone want to #Emmys and Chill?— Netflix US (@netflix) September 21, 2015
The button is not a product offered for sale, but one that the company encourages its customers to build on their own; Netflix’s site contains instructions for bringing it to life. Though the homemade nature of the thing means no two buttons will come out looking the same, here’s the finished product as made by Netflix employees.
This straightforward-looking box is loaded with electronics that blaze new paths for the distraction-hungry. It contains a development board called a Spark Core, which enables Wi-Fi-based access to the Internet. It also has an infrared transmitter to send the same signal as a TV remote’s “Netflix” button.
As a unified device that can get online while talking to one’s television, it’s loaded with promise for technologically enabled hedonism. It’s a fairly elementary Internet of Things device, so there are gobs of potential for expanding the button’s uses. Netflix suggests configuring it to order food as well, or even to put your phone in do not disturb mode. You might also configure it to draw your blinds and start up an Al Green Spotify playlist.
Of course, building this button requires some at least mid-level electronics and programming skills. Be prepared to solder, manipulate electronic components, and program a microcontroller.
Once you’ve figured that stuff out, you can get back to your Netflix and Chill.