Techcrunch reports that one of Netflix's engineers has devised a way to automatically pause your movie once you fell asleep.
The idea is that you'd sync your Netflix with a personal tracking device like a FitBit, which can tell when you're asleep. When the FitBit reports you've passed out, the movie mutes or stops.
Here're the two killjoy caveats on this otherwise fun, mildly Jetsonian story.
One is that this feature was created during an internal company hack-a-thon, which means it could be the equivalent of a concept car - a neat, attention-grabbing idea that never gets implemented. The other caveat is that FitBit's mechanism for detecting when your asleep is actually pretty crude. It's based off how still you are, not your heartrate. There's a good chance that you're as still watching a movie as you are asleep. Maybe even less so.
So, in closing, I don't know how you ought to feel about this not-quite-real, not-quite-fake idea. It probably won't be implemented, and if implemented, it probably won't work. But it's not hard to imagine something like it happening in the near future -- you'd just need slightly more nuanced sleep tracking programs. (Although, you would sort of imagine that the market for people who want fine-tuned fitness analytics hardware and the people who want their TV shows to turn off when they fall asleep might not completely overlap.) Anyway, I digress. The point is, I have no idea how anyone should feel about stories about small, possible advances in couch potato technology. Follow your hearts, everybody.