Smart TV Just Got Smarter - With Mind Control

written by: Richard Kastelein

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According to numerous reports via the IFA CE Exhibition in Berlin today, the world's first Brain-Computer Interface Technology (BCI) Smart TV will debut at the event. Manufactured by Haier, a leading China consumer technology company, and powered by Silicon Valley's own NeuroSky ThinkGear technology, the Haier Cloud Smart TV offers the ability for users to interact with their Smart TV using their brains.Yes, that's right. Mental power... Sounds like something out of a bad sci-fi script. But it's true!

CBS News covered the story with a snappy headline about mind reading TV:

Having a brain-dead moment thinking about what it all means? You're not alone. Essentially, it's sort of like a game system installed in a television. You'll be able to use a headset that connects with games and apps. Calm down, Chad Vader. You can't fast forward and rewind shows with your thoughts yet.

A spokesperson for Silicon Valley-based bio censor company NeuroSky talked with us and described how the technology is applied to the apps NeuroFly and Tug of Mind. NeuroFly is a game where you play a little yellow bird trapped in a maze searching for jewels. In Tug of Mind you compete against the other animals to show off your mental muscle. of course calls it a brain interface:

Basically, you will be able to interact with your Smart TV using nothing but your brains. No need to worry about the remote control running out of juice, right?

Wonder how it will work after a bottle of Chardonnay? Does that constitute juice?

Unlike a traditional TV, Haier's Smart TV can interact with viewers via NeuroSky's MindReader headset. NeuroSky's brainwave technology can detect human brainwave patterns revealing a person's mental state. The NeuroSky MindReader then translates the monitored brainwaves into digital signals that the television can recognize. The brain-controlled TV applications allow users to develop control over their concentration and relaxation abilities through entertainment applications. Haier's Home Cloud Solution provides an exciting "Cloud Family" experience to consumers, a step into cloud service and a milestone in lifestyle change.

Next step? Will it help me find content based on my mental state? Now that would be pretty cool. Throw in some artificial intelligence, and give him a voice like Hal 9000 in 2001, A Space Odyssey.  If I'm in that kind of mood of course.

The TV is scheduled to be released in October of this year in China at a price yet to be determined. 


About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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