Netflix Hack Day is what the company calls its internal hackathon. Employees get together and work on some amazing ideas which could eventually make their way into new projects. Earlier hacks have included a Netflix app for the original NES and a Fitbit back which shuts Netflix off when you fall asleep. At this year’s Hack Day, employees leveraged smartphones’ haptic technology to make a phone vibrate so you can feel the intense onscreen action as you’re holding the device.
Project Rumble Pack basically brings the experience that mobile gamers have long been familiar with to Netflix. Many mobile games leverage haptics technology to let players feel the action. For example, if your car sustains damage in a racing game, the phone may vibrate to let you know.
This hack also does the same thing, vibrating the phone when there’s an intense action scene going on, think big explosions or fights. Hans van de Bruggen and Ed Barker, the team that worked on Project Rumble, demonstrated its capability with an episode of Voltron, particularly with a scene that shows a massive explosion.
They were able to do this by using Immersion Corporation technology to sync Netflix content with haptic effects. While it looks really good, the projects that emerge from Hack Day don’t really make their way to the app itself. However, they’re used as inspiration for other real-world projects, so perhaps Project Rumble could see the light of day at some point in the future.