Imagine never having to hunt for that lost remote control again. Instead, you could change the channel of your television using only the power of your mind.
Working with the BBC, UK-based user experience lab This Place has developed a prototype of the futuristic technology, which synchronizes a viewer’s brainwaves to a television’s basic functions.
“It’s an internal prototype designed to give our program makers, technologists and other users an idea of how this technology might be used in [the] future,” Cyrus Saihan, head of business development for BBC Digital, told BBC News.
Armed with a small headset and an experimental version of BBC iPlayer, 10 BBC staff members were able to launch the on-demand service and choose a TV show, all by only using their minds.
The headset can detect the wearer’s brainwaves by reading the electrical activity of cells. From this, the wearer can see their concentration level on a screen that shows how much they need to focus to achieve a task. Once their focus has built up enough, the wearer can switch on iPlayer, select a program and enjoy the show.
But this technology wouldn’t only be handy for those of us that continually misplace our remote controls. Toby Mildon, diversity and inclusion lead at BBC Digital, said that the technology could significantly improve life for those with severe disabilities with limited movement, and that “in the next 10 years, or 20 years, this technology can be fantastic.”