The venue for this week’s Installation of the Week is …. at least potentially … everyone’s private residence. This Halloween, Netflix decided to equip homeowners with a DIY doorbell kit designed to use proximity motion sensors and an LCD display screen to direct trick-or-treaters to an unmanned bowl of candy while they enjoyed their favorite horror flicks from the comfort of a sofa or easy chair. (Apparently, pause rates skyrocket every time Devil’s Night comes around and viewers are forced to pull themselves away from the boob tube to answer the door for those pesky kids).
Participants could also customize their device with 3D printable acrylic faceplates inspired by their favorite Netflix shows—seamlessly turning antisocial behavior into brand reinforcement. When pressed, the doorbell even plays the theme song or score for your spooky entertainment of choice. The only requirements for implementing the Netflix Halloween Doorbell are a working knowledge of basic electronics, physical fabrication and Arduino programming.
The Netflix Halloween Doorbell is a fantastic digital novelty, but it’s also a pretty good excuse for the streaming service to hammer home promotion for Stranger Things—the Duffer Brothers’ suspenseful sci-fi mash-up success story that proves horror was better in the 80s with heavy synth music and auteurs like John Carpenter, Sam Raimi and Wes Craven behind the camera.
As far as technical specs go, the Netflix Halloween Doorbell uses about 1 watt of power, so a 1000mAh battery should suffice. Check out the video below for an ad/demonstration, and click here for a quick tutorial that expands on the button, screen and faceplate. Who knows? Maybe an expansion pack is in the works so hardcore Netflix viewers can avoid actual human contact all year long.