Facebook says it is developing a bracelet/wristband that translates motor signals from your brain to control a computer so you can move a digital object just by thinking about it.
This article was written by Polina Tikhonova of Insider Paper.com.
Facebook’s bracelet or wristband resembles an iPod on a strap and uses sensors to identify movements users think of making. It uses electromyography (EMG) to translate electrical activity from motor nerves as they transfer information from the brain to the hand. Electromyography (EMG) measures muscle response or electrical activity in response to a nerve’s stimulation of the muscle.
Facebook’s bracelet (wristband) will let you control computer with brain
According to Facebook Reality Labs blog post, “A wrist-based wearable has the additional benefit of easily serving as a platform for computing, battery, and antennas while supporting a broad array of sensors. The missing piece was finding a clear path to rich input, and a potentially ideal solution was EMG.”
Facebook has basically shared a glimpse of its ideas for a new augmented reality interface. It is based on technology from CTRL-Labs which is a startup Facebook acquired in 2019 between $500 million and $1 billion. The company believes the unnamed device would allow users to arrange augmented-reality menus. This would be possible by just thinking about moving your finger to scroll.
A video features wristbands that use electromyography (EMG) to translate precise neural signals into actions. These could be typing, swiping, or playing games. The wristbands also allow haptic feedback, developing a more functional system than usual hand tracking methods.
“What we’re trying to do with neural interfaces is to let you control the machine directly, using the output of the peripheral nervous system — specifically the nerves outside the brain that animate your hand and finger muscles,” said FRL Director of Neuromotor Interfaces Thomas Reardon.
Not similar to mind reading
Although the Facebook bracelet could detect neural signals, it is not similar to mind-reading. Facebook explained this concept here:
“Think of it like this: You take many photos and choose to share only some of them. Similarly, you have many thoughts and you choose to act on only some of them. When that happens, your brain sends signals to your hands and fingers telling them to move in specific ways in order to perform actions like typing and swiping. This is about decoding those signals at the wrist — the actions you’ve already decided to perform — and translating them into digital commands for your device.”
CTRL-Labs has still marked this technology as a brain-computer interface. But it’s a clear disparity with technologies like Elon Musk’s Neuralink. That signals neural movement straight from the brain through an implant.
However, the Facebook bracelets will be fetching a significant amount of data for sure. That might include sharp alterations in typing patterns; complete levels of bodily tension. In addition to that, it could be any biometric information through fitness tracking sensors, augmented reality glasses, and other technology connected with the bands.