Netflix’s ‘Project Rumble Pak’ tests vibrating mobile movies

Netflix’s ‘Project Rumble Pak’ tests vibrating mobile movies

We’re all used to our console controllers vibrating during intense gaming sequences. Some movie theaters incorporate vibration motors into their chairs for a more immersive experience. Now, a new Netflix experiment considers combining the two ideas, essentially adding haptic feedback to movies and TV shows you watch on your phone.

The idea isn’t a feature Netflix is testing widely, but rather it came about through one of the company’s ‘Hack Days,’ in which employees get to mess around with new ideas and technologies. The bulk of these experiments don’t come to fruition, but sometimes they make their way into your Netflix app.

As per the description on Netflix‘s blog post:

“You’re watching your favorite episode of Voltron when, after a suspenseful pause, there’s a huge explosion — and your phone starts to vibrate in your hands.

The Project Rumble Pak hack day project explores how haptics can enhance the content you’re watching. With every explosion, sword clank, and laser blast, you get force feedback to amp up the excitement.

For this project, we synchronized Netflix content with haptic effects using Immersion Corporation technology.”

In other words, a lot like playing a video game, minus the playing part. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this idea actually implemented into the Netflix app. Despite the relatively small screens, for a lot of people, their phone has the best display they own.

Adding haptic feedback could bring a different kind of immersion than what you’re used to from a large TV. It’s one of those features you could either love or absolutely detest, but at the very least, it’d make for a neat option to have. For more on what emerged from Netflix‘s Hack Day – including an AI trained to sound like Netflix characters – check out the source link below.

Netflix Studio Hack Day — May 2019 on The Netflix Tech Blog

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