BBC is developing mind control television

The BBC developed an app using a headset that can read your brainwaves and make selections on television channels.

The BBC developed an app using a headset that can read your brainwaves and make selections on television channels.

Mind control is no longer science fiction - and it may be coming to a television near you.

The BBC's obsession with innovation has led to the development of using mind control instead of remote control.

BBC's head of business development Cyrus Saihan announced their latest project which involved a low cost brainwave-reading headset allowing users to select a programme with their thoughts.

"Our first trial run saw 10 BBC staff members try out the app, and all were able to launch BBC iPlayer and start viewing a programme simply by using their minds," he wrote on the BBC blog.

"Imagine sitting in your car and thinking 'I want to listen to Radio 4' and hearing the radio station come on during your commute to work. Perhaps you might be able to just think 'give me the latest news' and in response get served up a personalised set of news headlines."

He uploaded a video which showed BBC workers trialling the headset. "It's a slightly odd idea," said one worker. Another worker looked perplexed at how easily she could operate the television: "How do they do it?" she said.

Well, they do it by using sensors.

The sensors measure electrical activity in the brain and uses the activity to perform commands within the experiment app. A user can select 'concentration' as the form of control, which displays a volume bar of brainwaves on the screen indicating the level of concentration. With rotating options, the user only has to concentrate a little harder to select an option. 

The UK broadcasting company has been researching mind control headsets as part of its exploration into accessibility and user interfaces. 

"An important potential benefit that brainwave technology might offer is the ability to improve the accessibility of media content to people with disabilities," wrote Saihan.

The 'Mind Control TV' prototype is just an internal experiment at the moment, but no doubt there is a yearning to use the technology in the future.

However, imagine multiple headsets in one living room - it would be chaotic. Or limit one headset per television?  Then squabbling over it would probably still remain.

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 - © Fairfax NZ News

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