Control4 Announces New MindPod® Controller
Written by David Baker on April 1, 2013
Salt Lake City, Utah—1 April, 2013—Control4, a leading innovator in residential and light commercial automation systems, announced today that it is beginning development of a new product that will enable end users to control their homes and businesses with their brains. Building on the latest in science fiction technology, the MindPod provides mental control over the various systems in a Control4-equipped home or business.
According to LaGrand Bluff, Control4's Senior Guru of Gizmos, the Control4 MindPod is all about bridging the disconnect between a user's home control system and central nervous system. "Hard-wired buttons? Those things are totally completely passé," Bluff said. "Wireless technology? That's the wave of the past."
The MindPod system will be comprised of three main components: the MindPod unit itself, the implantable ThinkSync® chip, and the MyMindMeld™ license, value-added software that is included and priced as part of the bundle. The MindPod interfaces directly with a home's primary controller, enabling the end user to turn off lights, adjust climate-control settings, disarm a security system, and access streaming media playlists with the flick of a neuron. About the size of a postage stamp, the ThinkSync chip is installed directly in the user's forehead via a low-risk 20-minute outpatient procedure.
"Just to clarify, for anyone younger than 40, a 'postage stamp' is a small piece of paper that people used with the old print-based mail," Bluff noted. "They're pretty small, which is why we use them in our comparison."
Forget your keys when you go out for a run? With MindPod you can "think" your front door open. Want to change the channel but just can't be bothered to reach for the remote control? Do it with your mind without burning even a fraction of a calorie. And with the MindPod's planned ImageDirect™ feature, you can route images from IP cameras and other video content directly to your optic nerve, eliminating the need to even open your eyes in the morning.
Naturally, the use of brain implants was initially a cause for concern—even among the development team. "When we began talking about 'Mind Control' we had trouble getting people to understand exactly what we meant," said Niles Rasputin, product manager of Control4's new Telepath product category. "The forehead chip initially caused no small concern among employees and the general public alike. We had lots of people thinking we were making 'Mind Control' deals with the Illuminati or some sort of New World Order."
According to Rasputin, nothing could be further from the truth. "We made sure to change the '666' that had inadvertently made its way into the product SKU, just to emphasize this point." The final version of the product will also not require the tin-foil hat that was used in early proof-of-concept versions.
Before reselling the MindPod suite of products, dealers will be required to attend at least three technical training classes—plus a 6-month surgical internship. Not having adequate technical knowledge for correctly deploying these new products could cause problems for the dealers installing them. "Customers could die during implantation—or worse, the MindPod could be miscalibrated by untrained personnel," Bluff warned. "Either way, this would threaten future upgrade opportunities."
"We know there are others in the industry who are bragging about cell-phone automation and even voice recognition technology," said O. Bvious Okejay, deputy senior assistant to the associate vice president of sales for Control4. "We’ve eliminated the middleman—removing the need for device control at all. Basically, Star Trek can bite me," he added.
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