Soon you won’t have to rummage down the back of the sofa to find the remote control. That’s because you’ll control your gogglebox with your thoughts, if this prototype is anything to go by.
It’s called MindRDR TV, and it combines an EEG brainwave sensor with content from YouTube and BBC iPlayer. The headset features a sensor that rests on your forehead, and one that clips to your ear. Don it, and up pops a selection of the five most popular programmes, either from iPlayer or YouTube (the only two supported services at the moment). It cycles through them, and you pick one just by thinking about it. Then it starts playing. Simple as that.
Want it to stop playing? Just think about the menu screen, and you’ll find yourself back there. Amazing. But potentially dangerous if you and your other half have very different taste in TV shows. You could end up ping-ponging between Wrestlemania and Don’t Tell the Bride.
At the moment it only works on mobile devices, but you can hook them up to the telly via an HDMI cable or using a streaming dongle like the Google Chromecast.
“Shoreditch-based user experience company” This Place has only made apps for YouTube and iPlayer at the moment, but says more are on the way.
The aim is to do away with remote controls altogether. Well, it’s got to be better than typing a search term by selecting keys using an on-screen keyboard. Takes forever.
“We’ve always been interested in the challenge of ‘smart’ TV interfaces,” says Dusan Hamlin, founder and CEO of This Place. “They can be extremely difficult to navigate with a remote control or even a second screen device. So we decided to focus on dramatically improving the user experience by removing barriers between users and the content they want to watch.
“In fact, we removed every single barrier so people can directly control TVs with their mind.”
You can see it in action on the This Place website.