While the big Japanese and Korean manufacturers were mainly concentrating on updating their product ranges, Chinese manufacturer Haier pulled out all the stops for its stand at the IFA 2011, helping it launch into the audio-visual market with a splash. In fact, Haier bagged itself all kinds of awards and distinctions, which should stand the firm in good stead for when its products start to roll out onto the market later this year.
Haier clearly likes to create a buzz. Some of you may remember the firm presenting a completely wireless TV at the last two years' CES and IFA shows (and it was on the stand again this year too), but now Haier has moved things up a gear with TVs controlled by movement and by the power of the mind.
Based on the same idea as the Kinect, the movement-control system was first of all demonstrated with a video game, which serves to get the controller used to recognising your movements, as with the Microsoft console. Games aside, the system then can be used to control the entire interface of Haier's compatible TV—you can change the channel, change the volume, use web apps and use multimedia content all with simple gestures.
Anyone who was traumatised by David Cronenberg's film Scanners should stop reading here, since Haier will also be tapping into users' thoughts to control the TVs of the future! The firm's Brain Wave system uses a headset—that looks almost like any regular gaming or call-centre headset—with sensors that rest on your forehead and your right ear to monitor your mind's activity. The sensors pick up certain signals emitted by the brain and translate them into pre-programmed actions onscreen.
You can see Vincent giving the system a go in the pictures above. However, when our very own Pierre-Jean (below) decided to check out the Brain Wave prototype for himself, the good people over at Engadget couldn't resist snapping his awe-stuck expression either (... or maybe he's just concentrating really, really hard).
The Brain Wave is just one of many devices of this kind that have been cropping up at technology and innovation shows recently. In this case, an animated barrel is displayed onscreen that users have to explode simply be concentrating on it ... if you get that far, as some users are only able to make the barrel spark and fizzle and can't quite make it explode. The results all depends on the user's concentration and calmness, says Haier.
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