Samsung to release brain-controlled TVs

Samsung has partnered with Swiss scientists to develop "Project Pontis" which will make television more accessible for people with physical disabilities

12Nov

Samsung has said it has begun development of smart television software which people can control using their brainwaves and has said it will begin testing the technology in Swiss hospitals next year, according to a report by CNet.

The global tech giant wants to use the software to allow users with physical limitations to perform tasks such as changing channels and adjusting volume with their brains. It is aimed at making Samsung televisions more accessible for people with physical disabilities preventing them from manually controlling their TV.

Samsung partnered with Swiss scientists at the Center of Neuroproethetics of the Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)on the project, named "Project Pontis", three months ago. The software allegedly combines brain monitoring sensors and eye-tracking hardware to identify what the individual intends to select.


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Samsung has forecast that the project, which remains at a relatively early stage, will begin prototype testing in early 2019.

"How can we provide accessibility to people who cannot move or who have extreme limitations on their movements," Ricardo Chavarriaga, a senior scientist at EPFL, said at the Samsung Developer Conference where Project Pontis was demoed.

"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.

Samsung and EPFL have also announced that they are working on a system that goes even further and relies on brain signals alone, aimed at users who are not able to control their eyes or other muscles reliably, Chavarriaga announced.

"One thing we have to take in account is everybody is different," Chavarriaga told CNET. Currently, the technology has to be tailored to each person because of individual's brain variations.

"We believe we have to do the best for the person, so we have to personalize," Chavarriaga added.

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