We have all done it. A quick Netflix session soon turns into binge-watching an entire series in one sitting; add in a festive feast and a few glasses of wine, and you'll be lucky to make it through episode five before falling asleep. To fix this, Netflix has published instructions for creating a pair of socks that automatically pause the programme when you fall asleep.
The socks track your movement, notice when you fall asleep, then beam an infrared signal to your television, pausing whatever you were watching. Alternatively, you could get the socks to turn up the volume, if you would rather be woken up in time for the season finale.
Available in 17 different designs related to popular Netflix series such as House Of Cards, the socks require you to build a simple electronic circuit made up of an infrared light, a button, a battery, a simple processor and an accelerometer. Anyone who knows their way around a soldering iron should not have too much trouble piecing it all together.
Once built, you will need to follow these methods to make sure the socks send the correct infrared signal to your television. Here you will need to crack open your laptop and do some simple coding to programme the right IR command.
If this all sounds too simple, Netflix has some suggestions of how the socks can be modified and improved. First, it suggests building a simple infrared repeater; if your socks are under a blanket or not in line of sight of the TV, then their signal will not reach. To fix this, a base station working on the common 2.5GHz frequency can be used to communicate wirelessly with the socks. Placed near the TV, the base station can send the IR command when told to by the socks.
For greater sleep accuracy, Netflix suggests installing a heart-rate sensor under your toe. A slower heart rate indicating sleep will trigger the socks into action and pause the TV.