The prototype brainwave-reading headset allows the wearer to open an experimental version of BBC iPlayer and select a TV programme using their mind alone.
A prototype app for an experimental version of the broadcaster’s iPlayer, which has been tested on BBC staff, allows viewers to select programmes by simply focusing their thoughts as choices of what to watch appear on screen.
The Technology: The ‘Mind Control TV’ prototype works with brain activity signals, which are relayed from an Electroencephalography that contains two sensors to measure levels of brain activity. It can be operated through concentration or relaxation, depending on whether people choose the “attention” or “meditation” mode.
The headset connects directly with an app on a mobile device, and together the headset and app monitor the user’s level of concentration. A ‘volume bar’ of brain waves is displayed on the screen, to visually illustrate their level of concentration.
Viewers will be able to select programmes by simply focusing their thoughts as choices of what to watch appear on screen. The selected program will then playback automatically until the user focuses to go back to the discovery interface.
Though it is very early days when it comes to controlling TV with your brain, many disabled people could benefit from the new approach, especially people affected by motor-neurone disease or locked-in-syndrome may increasingly be able to use brain-computer interfaces to get a better experience of digital and media services than they currently do.