Traditional media no longer shrugs its shoulders at emerging technologies to reach viewers and readers. Today, many of them are not only adapting to prevailing social media trends and technologies, but also trying to invent them. Recently, world-renowned broadcasting giant BBC has been receiving considerable attention for a headset they are developing in collaboration with British user experience lab This Place. This headset allows wearers to control their TV using the power of their minds.
The headset works by synchronizing and reacting to the electrical activity emitted by the wearer’s brain when tasked to either think or meditate.
It’s an internal prototype designed to give our program makers, technologists and other users an idea of how this technology might be used in [the]future.Cyrus Saihan, head of business development for BBC Digital,
Proof-of-concept headset has already been tested, and it works
To test the feasibility and functionality of the headset, 10 BBC staff members were given a chance to try out the headset in tandem with an experimental offshoot of BBC iPlayer, which is a media streaming app for your television and mobile device.
After putting on the headset, users are first asked to hone their concentration skills by meditating, which the headset measures, records and displays on screen. Once the users are ready, they turn on iPlayer, which then gives them a choice of five programs to choose from. As each option is highlighted, the headset assesses the extent of your brain activity, ultimately selecting the program you’ve expended the most concentration on.
Although the system worked for all 10 staff members, and despite their expressions of delight and shock, some did complain that using the headset is slower than using a traditional TV remote. That said, the headset promises new found freedoms for those suffering from severe physical disabilities, and “in the next 10 years, or 20 years, this technology [will]be fantastic.” As you can see in the featured video, a quadriplegic volunteer who tested the headset was greatly pleased by being able to navigate channels and shows without the aid of a care taker.