What if you could use your mind to choose your favourite programme on your TV? The idea of controlling devices simply with your brain has fascinated people for years. But now we are one step closer to making it happen. BBC has teamed up with tech company, This Place, to develop a mind control TV headset that lets you select what you want to watch; just by using your thoughts. Utilising a cheap, brainwave reading headset, the prototype has been designed to work with an experimental version of the BBC’s iPlayer on-demand platform. The device has two sensors, one on user’s forehead and one that clips on their ear. The viewers can operate the app by focusing their mind, choosing either the ‘meditation’ or ‘attention’ option on the player. Depending on their preference, users can launch and operate the app by concentrating or relaxing their minds. In initial trials, 10 BBC staff used the headset and were able to launch iPlayer and start watching a programme. Although the device is still at an experimental stage, it gives an idea of how this innovative technology could be possibly used in the future; increasing the communication bandwidth between human beings. Such tools will open a huge amount of opportunities for people with disabilities, helping them interact with the increasingly digital world.
Maybe in few years we could use this technology to control our smartphones, tablets or even other people’s minds. However, intervening in the brain has always raised both hopes and concerns in equal measure.
How will the society ensure mind control technology ethical use preventing intrusive access to brain activity?