Lays Has Solved Bingewatching’s Biggest Problem With A Chrome Extension

Lays calls this Crispy Subtitles and it's designed to solve what's perhaps the most first world problem today.

Extensions are amongst the primary reasons why many users cannot leave Google Chrome. They’re somewhat like apps for Android, adding functionality to the web browser that others just do not have. And over the years there have been just as many weird Chrome extensions as there have been useful ones. Potato chips maker, Frito Lay, though may be pushing the boundaries with its new extension — Crispy Subtitles — which detects crisp sounds to automatically turn on subtitles on YouTube videos. Yes, you heard that right. Lays is saying you miss dialogues on videos/movies when you munch on chips and that’s when subtitles can help.

“We recorded crisp sounds from all over the world,” the company says in the launch video. Apparently crisp sounds differ across the world too, as lays says it recorded crisp sounds from Vietnam, Portugal, America and more. These sounds were then fed to an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that’s built into the extension. The algorithm learned to detect these sounds and when downloaded on Chrome, it automatically turns on YouTube subtitles when it hears the sounds of crisps being chewed.

Lays partnered with Vietnam-based design studio Bliss Interactive and an advertising agency called Happiness Saigon for developing the extension.

The extension has to use a device’s microphone to detect these sounds though, so we’re not quite sure how privacy friendly it is. A Chrome extension that’s meant to listen for the crunching sounds will have to listen to us all the time, or at least when a YouTube tab is open on Chrome. The Chrome Web Store listing for the extension does promise that you data is not being “used or transferred for purposes that are unrelated to the item’s core functionality” though. It also said that the data is not being sold to third parties, or to determine creditworthiness or for lending purposes.

The extension should work with most crispy snacks, but given that this is only a marketing effort we wouldn’t expect it to be very dependable. But then again, if you really care about missing subtitles for the second or two that it takes to munch on chips, this is probably the best you will get. You know an easier solution though? Wear headphones. 

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