It's the stuff of science-fiction. And to be honest I have no idea why the BBC of all people is doing the research but regardless it is amazing that they did. And that it works!
One of the developed world most vexing problems is of course losing the TV remote. The BBC has developed technology that is well on the way to solving that problem - by allowing youth choose which TV shows to watch using their brains. The technology was developed in tandem with British user experience lab This Place, and it matches a person's brainwaves to television functions. During a small in-house trial, 10 BBC staff members were fitted with a small headset and an experimental version of BBC's iPlayer program. All 10 were able to launch the player and select a TV show using only their minds.
The headset reads the wearer's brainwaves by recording electrical activity in the brain, and the screen displays a concentration "volume bar" that allows the wearer to visually gauge how close they are to completing an action. Users must first concentrate to enter iPlayer. Once the program is turned on, it cycles through five popular shows, lingering on each show for 10 seconds at a time. If users focus enough on a show while it's highlighted, the program will start playing it.
There are some limitations to the technology's current functionality: users have to wear a special cap, there is no way to navigate between shows or to search for ones that aren't listed, and even the ones that are listed have to be highlighted before they can be chosen.
Small problems but ones that can no doubt be solved. Now is that cap down between the cushions?