When a person with the ATA gene stands on the platform, the platform and base of the chair glows. Once a person sits down, the chair can be activated with thought. When this happens the chair glows, reclines, and the white hand panels light up, signifying the chair is ready for interfacing.
The Alterran's used control chairs to interface with key systems in their ships and some of their outposts, such as drone weapons and the holographic star map system. Control chairs can manage systems ranging from power distribution to sensors, depending on the desired function. The chair will only respond to those who possess the ATA gene, both to initialize the chair and maintain continued use. They also require massive amounts of power to even initialize as a safety measure to prevent drones from firing with too little power. typically provided by a Zero Point Module.
The Alterran's also used the control chairs to control the flight of city-ships. While a vital system, the control chair of Atlantis is not located in the control tower, but in a separate location entirely; one city-ship had its control chair located in the central tower itself in place of a Stargate.
As well as interpreting mental commands, control chairs also appear to be capable of interpreting data in the user's mind to perform a precise function. the control chairs on Aurora-class warships could activate the ship's hyperdrive when the user either willed the ship to either a specific set of coordinates after searching the ship's database or pictured the destination. If the user pictured a destination then it is possible that the destination imagined by the user is used as parameters to search the ship's entire database, and advanced star mapping technology combined with planetological data would determine the desired location. The user's mind can also adjust the ship's targeting computers, identifying ships as either friendly or hostile and altering that designation if necessary.
Aurora-class warships use a variation of the control chair, several in fact: one near the rear of the vessel for control of drone weapons, one somewhere in the centre to act as an auxiliary chair, and some designs feature one on the bridge to control navigation and power the inertial dampeners. The bridge chair also may be capable of controlling the ship's drones as well. Jumpers also possess a control panel with a neural interface which is used by the pilot for more advanced navigation and maneuvering, firing drone weapons, and calling up sensor readings via holographic heads-up display.