Samsung TVs are already some of the most popular options for high-end home theater systems, and the company is now using its television-making prowess to help people with disabilities live more normal lives. A new project by a Samsung team in Switzerland could yield the first smart TV that can be controlled with thoughts.
As CNET reports, Samsung has partnered with Swiss scientists to bring the system to life. Called ‘Project Pontis,’ the ultimate goal is to build a brain/software interface that will allow individuals with movement disabilities to control television features like channel switching and volume control with their brains rather than their bodies.
Brain-controlled gadgets aren’t entirely new — you can even buy simple brain-controlled “Mindflex” games made by Mattel if you want to play around with the technology in your own home — but the Project Pontis system is obviously much more robust.
At present, the system combines brain monitoring sensors and eye-tracking hardware to identify what selections the individual intends to make. Going forward, the partnership hopes to make the system smart enough to accept commands via brain commands alone, meaning that you’d only need to think about changing the volume for the action to be performed.
Now, before you go thinking this is the ultimate accessory for a lazy channel surfer or Netflix binge-watcher, it’s important to note that this is all aimed specifically at aiding those with severe disabilities. Samsung hasn’t even hinted at the idea that this would be a commercially available product. That being said, if the technology reaches a point where it’s essentially plug-and-play, it’s hard to imagine Samsung or another company at least testing the waters with everyday consumers.
In any case, the project is still in a relatively early stage, with Samsung forecasting new prototype testing sometime in early 2019. If a thought-controlled TV ever does arrive, it likely won’t be for quite a while.