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Haier's mind control TV prototype hits IFA, we go foreheads-on (video)

Brian Heater
09.03.11
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The remote control revolutionized the way we watch television, doing away with the need for frequent trips to the set in order to change channels. One prototype in Haier's portfolio makes the whole remote thing look like a back breaking chore by comparison. The Brain Wave (definitely not a final product name) television protoype showcased at IFA this week brings mind control into the picture, promising users a future where channels can be changed and volume controlled with mere thought.

The set is still in the early prototype stages at the moment, however, so we're still a ways away from such life altering precision. At the moment, the only available demo involves blowing up an animated barrel with your mind. Naturally, we had to give the thing a spin. Check out the results after the break.

Gallery: Haier's Brain Wave hands-on | 10 Photos



Controlling the set with your brain requires wearing a fairly uncomfortable plastic headset -- one that reminded us of our demos with Mattel's Mindflex system. An arm rests on the wearer's forehead, and there's a clip that dangles from the rear, clamping on to your earlobe -- it's certainly a lot more awkward than just using an old fashioned remote.

Getting the barrel to explode in the demo is bit like a mind control version of a "Magic Eye" poster, forcing yourself to sort of concentrate and unfocus at the same time -- a bit hard to properly describe, but simple enough, once you get the hang of it. We managed to figure it out pretty quickly, and were blowing up barrels with the best of them. It's hard to image using this device for several tasks all at the same time, however -- changing channels, adjusting the volume and choosing movie titles.

It's also hard to imagine too many people going through the trouble of putting on the headset to avoid the fairly minor task of using a remote -- hopefully Haier will be able to reduce the controller's size and awkwardness, should this thing ever come to market. No saying when that might be or how much such system might cost, however.

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