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Netflix is testing out activity tracking as a way to improve video quality

Please don’t cross the street while watching Netflix.

netflix on phone on bed
Image: Unsplash

Last week, a security researcher accidentally uncovered a new test in progress by Netflix. He noticed that the Netflix app on his Android phone wanted access to the device’s physical activity sensors.

That’s interesting because you wouldn’t associate Netflix binge-watching with being on the go, would you?

Netflix has physical activity tracking in testing phases to improve your streaming quality

It’s interesting to see how many unannounced testing features get outed by security researchers. It’s weird for a video streaming app to want to know if you’re walking, standing or running, right? Then again, a large percentage of Netflix’s non-US users watch exclusively on their mobile devices. I could see the results of this testing being very beneficial to those users.

  • Netflix told TNW that it’s a small test to improve video quality based on a user’s activity
  • Android Q has a new activity recognition permission which lets app developers know if you’re on the go while using its apps
  • Will Netflix be using this data to streamline buffering video while you move?

I’m all for things that help us get up off the couch and move, but I’m not entirely sure that making the Netflix experience smoother is the way to go.

Distracted walking is a big deal, so much so that New York has been trying to introduce fines for people using their smartphones while crossing the street. Maybe put the last season of Orange is the New Black down while you’re out of the house, k?

What do you think? Glad to see Netflix looking into innovative ways to improve streaming quality? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation and hoarding Reddit gold.

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