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Author: Ahmed Bilal

A new and innovative headset is being tested by BBC which can read the brainwaves of a person and aid in changing channels and performing other remote functions. Developed by a London based technology group the headset has been already tested on 10 BBC staff members, they have tested it in their homes by using a customized version of BBC’s iPlayer platform. All 10 members of the staff were able to use their thoughts to turn on the iPlayer and change channels and stuff. Cyrus Saihan, head of business development for BBC Digital, wrote in a blogspot, “It was much easier for some than it was for others, but they all managed to get it to work.”


Now you can change to channels just by thinking about them

The user basically needs to concentrate properly when they want to turn on the iPlayer or while changing the channel. It uses the iPlayer cycle which makes headset select one channel from the bunch of TV shows and allows the user to use the strength of their brain in order to operate it. The user can see the program for minimum 10 seconds so that if user is not interested in watching that channel they can tune out. Closing your eyes and taking deep breaths would help focusing on what your minds wants to watch.

A bar of volume is being displayed which demonstrates how successful and close they were in choosing a particular program according to Jamieson Cox at The Verge in order to turnoff iPlayer or change the program halfway through the users have to concentrate on the main menu of iPlayer.

Nancy Owano described the reactions of users at

“One user, smiling , said, ‘It’s nuts’. He was wondering if, when watching with his son they would be fighting over brain waves to choose the program they could both watch. Another user, looking puzzled over its being able to work as easily as it did for her, said, ‘how do you do it?’”


Saihan described it as “an internal prototype designed to give our program makers, technologists and other users an idea of how this technology might be used in future”. As soon as anyone gets enthusiastic this is not going to be in their living room soon.

Tim Mildon from BBC predicts that the use of this technology will assist the disabled people, it is predicted that within the next 10 to 20 years this technology would help handicapped people and would make services like these much more accessible to them.

According to Stuart Dredge reports at The Guardian, “It is part of the BBC’s research into how technology might make its services more accessible to people with disabilities,”


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