Controlling Netflix With Your Mind     

Netflix engineers demonstrate Mindflix.

Netflix likes their employees to have fun. I just found out that the company conducts “hack days” where employees are given 24 hours to develop crazy and wacky gadgets for the movie company.

Two engineers just invented Mindflix, a special headband that helps you surf Netflix using your mind. All you have to do is move your head to the side to scroll, and then think “play” when you see a title you want to watch. This gadget could replace the remote control.

The Netflix’s engineers achieved this task by customizing a brain-reading headband made by Muse, which is usually used for guiding meditation. Muse measures whether your mind is calm or active. The headband is sensing brain activity and using the feedback to control certain pre-established actions.

Watch the video for a better explanation.

No word if Netflix plans to pursue this idea, but they told the press about it. That always means something. 

The World of TV Viewing Is Forever Changing

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I can’t keep up with the changing world of TV program viewing options. There are so many choices out there that I kind of shut down when I hear young friends talking about their choices.

All I know is that more and more younger folks are not paying for cable and instead are getting all of their favorite programs over the Internet. They either watch their shows on a computer, TV, iPad, or even an iPhone.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association confirmed that the largest subscription video provider in the country today is Netflix. They are experimenting with alternative ways to deliver programming to the American consumer. Eliot and I just finished bingeing (the term Netflix uses for marathon viewing) on the streaming media provider’s thirteen hours of House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. It was great to process the entire series at once instead of waiting for a new episode each week.

TV cable companies are getting more and more concerned about Netflix, Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, YouTube, and many other online video services. Consumers have been lured away from cable because of lower prices and flexible viewing from these alternative sources.

To understand all of the options available today, USA Today provided the best possible summary. Click here.

Your Smart TV Is Only Smart For A Short Period Of Time

Years ago, I used to get questions about which TV brand to buy. Today, I get questions about the capabilities of the TV, Smart Vs. Not So Smart. There is a big debate going on in the hardware TV business. There are manufacturers who want to sell you $6,000 TV sets with all of the bells and whistles built-in and then there are others who just want to offer affordable priced flat panels that accept software attachments.

The one thing I know for sure, is that most of the expensive Smart TV’s that have been built so far are only good for a few years, in some cases only two. Software developments are accelerating so fast that the hardware manufacturers can’t possibly keep up. I have friends who claim that the pricey TV sets that they bought two or three years ago are not up-to-date with Netflix. Hulu Plus, or Vudu. It is driving them crazy!

To complicate matters, many more seniors want to watch content from the web. All they really need is a simple flat TV panel that accepts an Internet connection. Even more exciting, are the new gizmos called streaming sticks. They look like cigarette lighters or jump drives if you know what that means. All of your programming will be built-into these sticks so you don’t need the intelligence to be built into the TV. The streaming sticks will easily plug in to your flat panel TV’s. Not more complicated than plugging a USB thumb drive in to your computer.

Now when you have to upgrade, it will only cost you a $100 for a new stick as opposed to thousands of dollars for a so called Smart TV.

I suggest you read the following two stories to get an idea of your future choices.

This is what a streaming stick looks like. Click here.

More Are Watching Internet Video on Actual TVs, Research Shows. Click here to read more on this.