Mind controlled smart TV has arrived

Strap on a Neurosky headset and scrunch up your face real hard

We can't believe you're still using a remote. You should be ashamed when tech like MindRDR TV exists. It's the brainchild - yes - of Shoreditch-based user experience company This Place, and uses a Neurosky EEG headset to read the wearer's brain activity to translate into smart TV controls for YouTube and BBC iPlayer apps via a Google Chromecast.

This is how it works - essentially you select a TV programme simply by thinking about it. MindRDR TV cycles through options onscreen, such as popular YouTube videos, every ten seconds until the user 'selects' a video to watch using their brainwaves. Users can even choose between 'meditation' and 'attention' states as controls. Seriously, this is not a drill - if the name sounds familiar, you might have read about This Place's mind controlled interface for wearables such as Google Glass back in 2014.

Read this: Muse review - the brain sensing headband

The Android version of MindRDR TV is being prepared for a limited release on Google Play to get more focus group-style research on the interface. The iPlayer integration was commissioned by the BBC and is internal only for now. It works with an experimental version of iPlayer, uses the same low cost Neurosky headset and has been tested as a proof-of-concept on BBC staff in its technology Blue Room. Watch the video on BBC's blog.

Cyrus Saihan, head of business development for BBC Digital explained that mind control was chosen for this experiment into new audience experiences partly because movies like Star Wars and the Matrix have fascinated us for decades. "Whether it's using 'the Force' in Star Wars, spoon bending on stage or The Matrix," he said, "controlling objects simply with your brain has a unique appeal and could open up a whole world of possibilities."

We've already seen voice control for BBC iPlayer on Xbox One but Saihan wants viewers to get access to shows even quicker - by thinking 'put BBC One on' at home or 'I want to listen to Radio 4' in the car.

But the system also had the potential to help people with disabilities access the Beeb. Companies like Philips have already been experimenting with brain activity-controlled smart light bulbs. And the BBC is interested in brain-computer interfaces for people with, for instance, motor-neurone disease or locked-in syndrome who may be able to use services like iPlayer with an EEG headset.

This Place says MindRDR is first and foremost a response to "clunky interfaces". In a blog post, Dusan Hamlin, founder and CEO, said: "We've always been interested in the challenge of 'smart' TV interfaces. 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."


What do you think?

Reply to
Your comment


  • tyrtyristcheget·

    This article was false, and my comment is correct, true, but so far it has been proved to you. 

       Why did you delete my comment?  Expect for me on these problems no one understands! ( sorry for involuntary immodesty,  простите за вынужденную нескромность , но это правда! ). Сурен Акопов. 

  • tyrtyristcheget·

    Good    day!  I made a very important ( revolutionary and unpublished ) discovery - invention-the1.first practical device for reading human thoughts / human mind reading machine / Brain Computer Interface.  This discovery is certainly ( exclusive ) exceptional, revolutionary nature!  In particular, I have created a means for people with Locked - in Syndrome ( LiS ) and ALS ( such as British physicist Stephen Hawking or Steve Gleason problem ). Another unit called human Speech Generating Device. But I have a bad situation now and I can not to publish my discovery in 2013 (I can't protect their copyright ) and I invite partnership. Thank you. Сурен Акопов. Syren Akopov. About the problem look for example in You Tube : 

    1.Jack Gallant, human mind reading machine ; 

    2.John - Dylan Haynes, human mind reading machine; 

    3.Tom Mitchell and Marcel Just, human mind reading machine. 

     I should note that the means for communication, coomunicators, Speech Generating Device that use Steve Gleason and Stephen Hawking ( Intel corp and Tobii Dynavox ) ideologically obsolete, expensive and not effective, low-quality! 

    Cyrus Saihan and his colleagues from BBC is not right, they do not prove reasonable. And it's true. 

    I invite partnership and help me to publish my discovery!