Samsung has developed a new software that will allow users to control TV they can control with their brainwaves.
The research has been named as Project Pontis, particularly aims to make Samsung’s televisions more approachable for people who are differently abled like quadriplegia. The company gears towards to enable “users with physical limitations to change channels and adjust sound volume with their brains.”
The project was started by Samsung’s Swiss operations started nearly three months ago in collaboration with the Center of Neuroprosthetics of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. The company demonstrated the capabilities of its second prototype TV on Thursday at its Developer conference in San Francisco, USA.
Ricardo Chavarriaga, a senior scientist at EPFL who’s working on the project with Samsung, said, “How can we provide accessibility to people who cannot move or who have extreme limitations on their movements.”
“We’re making tech that is more complex, that is more intelligent, but we should not forget this tech is being made to interface with humans,” he added.
To build the brainwave-controlled TV software, developers are asked to collect a pattern of how the brain reacts when the user wants to do something like select a movie or increase the volume. Samsung and EPFL combine indicators from both the environment and brain to build a prototype and apply machine learning to let the user choose their desired TV channels by using eye movements and brainwaves.
In order to collect the brainwaves in the prototype, a user wears a headset equipped with 64 sensors while looking at an eye tracker. The headset is connected to a computer that is attached to the TV.
The current model uses eye tracking method to identify when a user has chosen a particular movie. The system then creates a log of videos the user attracted toward, making sure to provide users with the lists of content in the future. The user ultimately can select using eye tracking.
Samsung and EPFL are also working on a system based on brain signals alone for users who are not able to control their eyes or other muscles easily.