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Netflix experiment rumbles your phone during shows

Another experiment creates sentences from Netflix dialogue.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
June 20, 2019
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Ed Barker, Hans van de Bruggen/Netflix

Netflix's Hack Days tend to produce at least one or two genuinely practical ideas, and that's certainly true for its 2019 efforts. One of the biggest experiments from the in-house event, Project Rumble Pak, syncs its namesake haptic feedback effects to key moments in videos -- you could feel every explosion and punch. You'd only experience this on a mobile device, of course, but it could give you a good reason to watch on your phone instead of waiting to reach your TV.

Other projects are more clever than pragmatic, but they could still have their uses. The Voice of Netflix uses a neural network to grab dialogue from streaming shows and turn them into new sentences on demand. If you want to hear characters from The Crown recite something silly, you can. TerraVision helps show producers find locations by matching one of their photos to a library of location shots. And no, Get Out! isn't a Jordan Peele nod -- it's a tool that plays awards show walk-off music in any Netflix meeting room to let people know when they've overstayed their welcome.

As with other Hack Days, we wouldn't expect most if any of these efforts to become part of Netflix's service. Project Rumble Pak does show that the company is interested in experiences beyond sight and sound, though, and we could see it happening if Netflix wants to drive more viewers to its mobile apps.

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