BBC decided to work with “This Place”, a British technology company to create an app called “Mind Control TV”. As the name gives away, this app will allow the users to change the channel with their thought.
On the one hand, such an app is totally innovative and it will prove to be very helpful for people with disabilities as they’ll be able to watch TV without needing a person to be there all the time (to turn the TV on or off, or change the channel).
On the other hand, healthy people will be required to make even less moves to watch TV and there lies a question mark as to whether that standstill will prove to be better or worse for those people.
Until now, the app – which is still under development – has been tested to 10 employers of BBC who were called to change the channel with their thoughts, by watching TV on their computer through the internet service “iPlayer” of BBC.
The experiment, according to the British newspapers “The Independent” and “The Guardian”, was successful as everyone managed to change the channel. However, it was obvious that some users had trouble completing the task.
One user commented that it was truly interesting given that she managed to complete the task in no time. But another user reported that it took him more time than it would have taken him if he used the remote control in the first place.
Every person who took part in the experiment had to wear a special casque of electroencephalography that has two electronic sensors. Those sensors monitor the brain activity constantly. Once the user mentally focuses on the channel he or she wishes to go to, the casque can send electronic signals/commands to the TV as the second one responds depending.
In the future some unthinkable problems may occur since, as one person who took part in the experiment said, people could fight (mentally) about the channel. In that case, the winner will be the one whose brain waves are stronger and will “command” the TV to switch to the specific channel of the person’s preference.
BBC stated that this technology – as mentioned above – is still under development and it shall take much more time until such an app is ready to be released to the markets. At the same time, the international news agency estimated that the constant digitalization of today’s world and the more and more advanced connections that are made available between human brains and computers, will meet a vast outspread in the near future.
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