Facebook has introduced a wrist device that is capable of reading neurological signals sent from users’ brains down to their hands. The wearable tech device is capable of reading the signals and interpret what a user wants to do and then recreates the action in a virtual or augmented reality environment.
Facebook reality Lab’s director of research science, TR Reardon, said that more of a humans brain is dedicated to controlling their wrist more than any other part of the body, probably twice as many neurons controlling the wrist and the movement of the hands than is actually dedicated to the mouth for feeding and speech.
In a virtual meeting with the press, the Facebooks Reality Lab division gave a briefing about the technology and showed videos of the project to the media representatives.
The researchers demonstrated force actions where a user could pinch with their fingers in real life to hold and control virtual, far away objects in augmented reality. The name of the action is a reference to Star Wars Franchise in which certain characters can use Force to control and move people or objects that are far away from them.
The company also demonstrated electromyography wristbands a device that a user can wear to type on any surface as though they were typing on a physical keyboard. The device does not come with a keyboard but the electromyography wristbands would capture the intentions of a user’s finger nails and write down the letters and words.
The smart-glass technology does possess a specified mechanism as compared to smartphones which rely on touch screens or, even oculus virtual reality headset which rely on handheld controllers. This is why Facebook is working on this project and according to Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer,the projects are in the early stages of development, and that it’s difficult to predict their timelines. He added that how things sequence in the market and when they show up are things, he did not have crisp answers to.
Apart from this project the company is also preparing to launch its first ever smart-glass, a Ray Bun glass device together with its partner Luxottica later this year.
The mind reading wrist device with the augmented reality will enable users to replace the mouse and keyboard in the future hardware projects.