Samsung Wants to Replace the Remote Control of Your TV with Your Brain

The South Korean company Samsung is working on software to control a smart TV using brain waves. The goal is to make the technology accessible to people with physical disabilities that limit their movement.


Samsung seems to be testing the possibility of consumers controlling TV sets with their brains. Still, in development, Sammy has partnered with scientists from Switzerland to create a system that allows control by brainwaves.

The remote already offered some progress, as it was no longer necessary to get up to interact with the television. In the future, you may not need to move your fingers either. In any case, it is the subject of the “Project Pontis” project, led by Samsung in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland.


Project Pontis

It is known that the human brain has an exorbitant potential. While there are myths like the one that says we do not use more than 10 percent of our brain, it is true that thanks to it we can make real feats with the right technology. Maybe controlling TV with our mind is one of its first uses, or so Samsung intends.

This project was born a few months ago with Samsung collaborating with the Neuroprosthetic Center of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. The objective is to control television with our brain waves by software, without the need to use a conventional control. This research is nicknamed Project Pontis, and there is a small teaser that proclaims it.

The main focus of this project is on people with physical limitations who cannot control television in a normal way with the command. Thanks to this method, they will only need brainwaves to perform tasks such as changing the volume or setting a specific channel. According to Ricardo Chavarriaga, an EPFL scientist – “We are making technology that is more complex, which is smarter, but we must not forget that this technology is being made to interact with humans.”

This software consists of collecting the behavior of our brain waves and translating them into TV tasks: changing the channel, changing the volume, and so on. For now, the method requires certain conditions, such as connecting 64 sensors to the subject and that he is looking at a device for tracking the eyes of the individual. Project Pontis, therefore, seeks to develop the necessary software for this purpose.

Priority to accessibility

It has some collateral benefits not only for people with physical difficulties; People who cannot control their bodies or eyes correctly can perform tasks on TV simply with their brains. They plan to test it in hospitals in Switzerland, the cradle of the project, in 2019 after showing the second Project Pontis prototype at the San Francisco conference that took place this week.

As revealed by CNET, EPFL scientists explore “how to provide accessibility to people who cannot move or who have extreme limitations in their movements”.

Is the system then be extended to the general public? As things stand, nothing is less certain. Indeed, for the moment, the device requires applying a layer of gel on the head, which individuals will not necessarily want to do at home.

Despite this, the system is still in development, and the intention is to allow control exclusively with these brain waves, which are different for each user.

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