Netflix has detailed its latest hack day project, this one called “Netflix in Space.” As the name suggests, this project involves streaming Netflix in space, though the company didn’t send any actual engineers on the mission. Rather, the team used a helium balloon with a doomed iPhone and GoPro to prove that Netflix videos can play in space…or, at least, 115,000ft above Earth.
The Netflix team behind the project detailed their work in a video published on the Netflix UI Engineering YouTube account. In it, we see a box composed of double-walled acrylic and a styrofoam cooler coupled with heaters and an avionics board. That board contains things like temperature, altitude, GPS, and pressure sensors to supply the team with info.
Within the cooler, the engineers placed the GoPro camera for recording the event, plus an iPhone which was glued face-down to the acrylic window. With this arrangement, the GoPro was able to film both the iPhone playing Netflix videos and the growing void of space behind it. That entire assembly was then attached to a weather balloon filled with helium and released to float away.
In the video recorded by the GoPro (above), we see a Star Trek video playing on the iPhone as it rises above the Earth. The bright daylight is soon joined by growing darkness as it approaches space, then the audio cuts out while the video remains. Soon enough we see the curvature of the Earth behind the iPhone.
The video is still playing at an altitude of 32,000m, which is nearly 105,000ft. The project ends there, though, leaving us with confirmation that you can, indeed, stream Netflix in “space.” According to Netflix, the balloon ultimately reached a height of about 35,000m / 115,000ft.
SOURCE: Netflix Tech Blog