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article imageBBC experiment lets you change TV channels with your mind

By James Walker     Jun 18, 2015 in Technology
The BBC has announced that it is experimenting with brainwave reading devices that could let you control the iPlayer with only your mind. The broadcasting company has already built an internal prototype that lets you choose a program by thinking of it.
Writing on the BBC Internet blog, the corporation's Head of Business Development Cyrus Saihan writes that the BBC is investigating how it can "innovate by using new and emerging technologies" to create "new audience experiences." A video shows the mind-control headset in action for the first time and explains how it works.
The headset was created by working with This Place, a UK user experience studio. The design is based on a "simple low cost" brainwave reading headset and works with a new version of BBC iPlayer.
The first prototype saw 10 BBC staff members trying out the headset and companion app. Saihan writes that they were all able to launch the iPlayer and begin watching a program by doing nothing more than thinking about it.
It works by using two sensors to detect concentration levels in the brain. Once a certain level is reached, a message is sent to the connecting tablet which launches iPlayer and displays the five most popular programs. The programs are highlighted in turn and cycled every 10 seconds. When the highlight lies on the program that the user wants to watch, they have to concentrate to open it.
The provisionally-titled "Mind Control TV" won't be available to buy for some time yet. It is being used internally to give the BBC program makers an idea of what technologies they may have access to in the future.
Eventually, the technology could be used to provide a new innovative and fun user experience for the iPlayer. The BBC is also investigating how it could make its services more accessible to people with disabilities, allowing them to watch their favourite content by simply using their mind.
More about BBC, Iplayer, TV, Mind, Control
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