We could be on track to being able to navigate TV telekinetically in a technological development that may well prove to be the biggest facilitator of sloth since the introduction of remote controls.
How does it work?
The MindRDR TV is a thought interface that works with the existing Neurosky EEG brainwave sensor to measure brainwaves and send them to an app that is then cast to the TV using Chromecast. The user can then change what content is playing by switching their ‘mental state’ between ‘concentration’ and ‘relaxation’: by focusing on relaxing or concentrating you can trigger your chosen programme into playing, or exit to the menu.
By introducing these two scales in the interface, it becomes possible to use them to toggle between playing and pausing content on iPlayer and YouTube.
To kick things off, you need to pair the MindRDR TV headset to a mobile device and calibrate the device to your own brainwaves. A selection of the top five most popular YouTube videos (via the YouTube MindRDR TV app) or iPlayer programmes (via the experimental app commissioned by the BBC) are then displayed, and the interface cycles through these programmes until you think the device into playing one of them. The selected programme will then playback automatically until you focus it back to the ‘discovery interface’.
‘MindRDR TV allows users to personalise their control focus to either concentration and relaxation,’ says This Place, the user experience company behind the MindRDR.
Despite this, I really have to wonder how convenient it will be to use if you have to wait for every potential selection to cycle around before you’re able to select it, and only having a narrow choice of five videos to begin with. Saying that, the idea is very appealing and getting this initial part of it off the ground will undoubtedly lead to some impressive future developments. You may have to do it manually for the time being, but this project is certainly one to watch.
Find out more about the MindRDR project, which lets you take pictures and tweet through the solitary power of your mind (and Google Glass), on the This Place MindRDR website. Pictures and videos of the MindRDR TV in action can be found on the MindRDR TV website.