Samsung has built new software for smart TVs that allows its users to control the TV with their brains.
Mainly, the innovation aims at empowering people with physical disabilities. As per the details, Project Pontis aims to make Samsung’s televisions more accessible for people with physical disabilities like quadriplegia.
If all goes according to plan, Project Pontis will allow the users to adjust sound volume or change channels with a simple command of their brain.
The project was taken on by company’s Swiss branch three months ago in collaboration with the Center of Neuroprosthetics of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).
The company demonstrated its second prototype TV at its developer conference in San Francisco last week. “How can we provide accessibility to people who cannot move or who have extreme limitations on their movements,” said an EPFL scientist at the Samsung Developer Conference.
“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 asserted.
How it Works
To make a brain-controlled TV, the developers required a pattern as to how the brain reacts to a person’s desire to watch a specific movie or listen to a specific volume.
Samsung and EPFL took indicators from both brain scans and the environment to design a model and apply machine learning to enable the user to select their desired channel by using brainwaves and eye movements.
To transmit brainwaves to the prototype TV, the user has to wear a headset that contains 64 sensors while looking at an eye tracker. The headset is connected to a computer that is connected to the TV.
This prototype incorporates eye tracking to pick a specific movie selected by the user. The system also generates a profile of videos as per the preference of the user in order to provide content lists in the future.
The company is also working on a system that just relies on brain signals to get the users’ preference regarding the channels and volume adjustment. This is for users who cannot control their eyes or other muscles.
The testing of new software will begin in Swiss hospitals in the first quarter of the next year.