Engineers at Netflix have figured out a way to connect the streaming video service to new “smart” lightbulbs so that the lights in a room respond to color changes on screen, providing a much more immersive experience. Alas, we might never get to try this for ourselves.
The added functionality — which uses Philips’ Hue smart lightbulbs — was developed as part of Netflix’s most recent Hack Day, in which company engineers get to show off what they can do.
As demonstrated in the above video, the lights respond in real time to onscreen color changes. Some TV manufacturers have dabbled with ambient lighting that changes according to the colors being shown on the screen, but this hack operates from within the app so it doesn’t require a certain type of TV, or even a TV at all. So if you’re watching Netflix on your phone or tablet, the lighting changes would still work — so long as you have the very expensive Hue bulbs.
The real downer is that Hack Day hacks are often just “isn’t this cool?” one-offs that never make their way to the official Netflix app, so there’s a good chance that this ambient lighting function may never see the light of day.