Watch Horror Movies To Save The Planet

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Watch Horror Movies To Save The Planet

Photo by robin mikalsen on Unsplash

Are you ready to save the planet while watching your favorite horror movie? Well, one group of innovators believes they have found a way to reduce electricity usage by watching darker movies. Meet Kim Ng and his team from Healthy Mind Tech, who came up with this idea during Junction hackathon. In this exclusive interview with Kim, we’ll find out more about how the team developed the concept and how sleeping well during the hackathon helped them win three challenges. And, of course, we’ll find out if they have taken this idea any further. So, grab your popcorn, sit back, and let’s dive into this unique idea that could save our planet, one horror movie at a time.

Valeriia from Junction: So, Kim, can you tell me how horror movies can save our planet?

Kim: Certainly. We came up with an idea for the Junction hackathon where we were trying to think of different ways to reduce our electricity usage. We already knew about basic things such as running the dishwasher during off-peak times or doing laundry at off-hours. However, it can be challenging to consistently do smaller things. While brainstorming, we thought about OLED screens and how they don’t use electricity when displaying black pixels. So we’re like “Oh, can we figure this out?”

After a little bit of research, we discovered that we could actually calculate the cost of electricity based on the red, green, and blue light emissions, fyi, blue costs a little bit more. We also found a website that had movie barcodes, which compresses the colors of a scene into a certain size based on the length of the entire movie. Combining these two ideas, with some additional data such as live electricity prices and movie length, we thought it would be reasonable to create a way to calculate the electricity usage for a movie. That’s how we came up with our idea.

Dark movies use less electricity than bright movies, and horror movies are known for being dark. It was our tongue in cheek way of saying, watch dark movies instead of bright ones. But the savings for one person are almost negligibly small. At most, it’ll be a penny between most movies. The main factor that makes a movie cost more is its length, not other things. But if two movies are about the same length, then the dark movies will cost a bit less.

Valeriia from Junction: Do you think you would come up with this idea without going to hackathon?

Kim: I don’t think so. I mean, there’s always a chance that we could have come up with it without the Junction hackathon. But what’s really nice about the hackathon is that it gives us a structure. Even when we come up with a crazy idea on our own, we now have a vessel to do something with it, put it together, and actually try it out.

There’s always a chance that we could have had a brainstorming event at one of our houses and come up with an idea, but the hackathon provides that extra kick and motivation to actually go and do it. I don’t know how many times you have had conversations with your friends about sustainability projects and then start one up in your house. But I think that’s what makes the hackathon environment very nice for this kind of stuff.

Kim Ng and his team from Healthy Mind Tech won two challenges and took second place in one more.

Valeriia from Junction: Me personally, not that often.

I remember you were saying that you, as an experienced team, prioritized sleeping during the Junction hackathon. Can you tell me more about this? Because I think most of participants don’t usually do that.

Kim: I think the answer has two parts. First, most of our time is spent needing to perform at a high level, and you can’t do that with low sleep. For mechanistic tasks, low sleep is fine, but most of what we’re doing is not like that. It’s really about acknowledging that we want to maximize the high-thought hours that we have versus just being present for all of them.

The other aspect, which is a little less talked about and is more challenging without experience, is knowing that we have a set amount of time and what we can reasonably do in it and what we can’t. Beforehand, we know that we want to have a good amount of sleep and we have roughly 24 hours to do everything we want to do. We do some mental calculus that says “Okay, this is reasonable. This is not.”

We take in some ideas like, this is what we need to do to get a minimal product out. It might not win anything, but then we have several layers of bells and whistles that we want to add into it and frankly, we thought the basic idea was a lot of fun and fun matters. It’s very unlikely to achieve everything, and that’s okay. Being able to execute more cleanly on a lower level is probably better than trying to do everything you want on a higher level.

Valeriia from Junction: You are saying “it might not win anything” and then you win three challenges.

Kim: In the end, yes. We’re getting better at figuring out how our stuff compares to others. I think generally we have a good idea and it’s always a mix of things because it’s not just about execution. A lot of it goes into the idea and the salesmanship of the product. We value the process a lot more, so we’re not strictly going for the salesmanship aspect. That said, we did spend a good amount of time making our presentation and trying to make it look nice or fun for us. But the key for us is also that we get to play with different things and do new things in the whole process.

Valeriia from Junction: Sounds great.

It’s been three months since Junction hackathon happened, did you take this idea any further?

Kim: We haven’t taken it further. When we’re talking about savings of under a penny for an individual person, no one will practically care on a single individual level for the product. It’s a fun thing and it can potentially get headlines because it’s a quirky idea on how to approach a problem. There is some value in the aggregate and in informational use. I mean, things often have value when you deal with large numbers and people can care about that.

Photo by robin mikalsen on Unsplash

Valeriia from Junction: Would you like Netflix, HBO, or some company take any action based on your project?

Kim: One of the people that we thought about reaching out to was Netflix because obviously we had them in mind when we were developing this. We made a chrome plugin that would install and put an overlay on top of Netflix to show prices. There, it was mostly for the informational campaign. However, maybe they would decide to do a little bit of stuff on it.

The ordering of movies matters, of course, for what people select. I’m not expecting horror movies to go all the way to the left, but in broad terms of their algorithm, maybe sustainability does become a factor in recommending movie choices. So given two movies that are otherwise equal, maybe offer the one or make that coin flip choice to be the one that’s more sustainable for the movies.

Valeriia from Junction: How often do you watch horror movies?

Kim: It’s been a while since I have because I have some small kids and they are terrified of things. I handle horror movies pretty well. My wife enjoys them as well though she’s the one that likes to shriek about them but she still enjoys watching them so I would say right now only once a year at most. 👾

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