Tech giant Samsung is developing a system which could allow people to control their television with their minds.
No one has time to find the remote, pick it up, press several buttons to find the channel you want, and then turn over to that channel – it’s 2018, we have busy lives, families, work, Brexit.
Despite being a potential plot for an episode of Black Mirror there is an actual reason for developing the technology beyond ensuring people have even less reason to leave the comfort of their own home and meet other people.
Named Project Pontis, the technology is part of an work between the South Korean electronics giant and the Centre of Neuroprosthetics of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), in Switzerland.
According to the scientists behind it all, the objective is to help people with severe physical disabilities, such as quadriplegia, to gain more independence and watch television without having to reply on help from other people.
A prototype of the piece of kit was revealed during a conference in San Francisco last week.
Senior scientist at EPFL Ricardo Chavarriaga said: “How can we provide accessibility to people who cannot move or who have extreme limitations on their movements.
The headset has been designed to help people suffering with physical disabilities. Credit: Samsung
“We’re making tech that is more complex, that is more intelligent, but we should not forget this tech is being made to interface with humans.”
So how does it work?
Using something called the Brain Computer Interface (BCI), it uses a headset, an eye-motion tracker, and 64 sensors to connect the viewer to the television set allowing them to take full control.
Boffins are currently studying brainwave samples to find out how the mind reacts when it ‘desires’ to watch a specific film or tv show – it’s hoped this could eventually allow the system to then make predictions based from the information and use eye movements to confirm a choice.
It is unlikely the headset will come to the mainstream market soon. Credit: Samsung
Hopefully it will be more accurate than my Netflix suggestions – ‘you watched five seasons of Spongebob Squarepants back to back, you must like Making a Murderer’.
Well yes I do, but your methodology leaves something to be desired.
But as they have said the primary function is to help those who have extreme physical difficulty and so it is unlikely to make it to the mainstream market anytime soon.
At the moment in order to use the current prototype you have to apply gel to your head and then wear a headset, which doesn’t quite cut down the time spent looking for the lost remote.
Featured Image Credit: Samsung