Netflix engineers hacked a brain-controlled interface

This is pretty much the definition of unnecessary, but then, that’s part of the fun of hack days. A quartet of Netflix designers have given the world “MindFlix,” by way of a short video, highlighting the hack’s use of a the Muse headband to control the movie streaming site’s familiar interface.

“Instead of implanting chips in our brain for Hack Day,” the video explains, “we decided to take this brain-reading headband to really put it to the test.”

It’s a short video — and a highly edited one. As someone who’s tried out brain wave- and eye-controlled television interfaces, I’ll admit that I’m pretty skeptical about how smoothly the thing actually works. I’ve personally never tried one out that gave me hope that any of this will become a usable option in the near future — let alone a better one than the interfaces that are currently available. But the video and hack are clearly more about fun than developing some future version of media streaming interface.

But, as with so much of what technology has given us of late, the technology was developed with the exceptionally lazy in mind. The tongue-in-cheek video attached to the project stars a Netflix user too lazy to go in search of their lost remote control — of course, there’s no solution yet to the issue of what happens when one misplaces their headset.

The hack is one of a handful that came out of the Netflix Hack Day. Others include a picture in picture option to see what other profiles tied to your account are watching, a donation feature tied to social conscience films and the hit Netflix series Stranger Things reimagined as an Atari-like video game.