Facebook has created an AR-optimised wristband, which converts neural signals into actions. It will work with Facebook’s promised AR ‘smart’ glasses.
The wristband was developed by CTRL-Labs, which Facebook bought in 2019.
It works through electromyography (EMG) which ‘uses sensors to translate electrical motor nerve signals that travel through the wrist to the hand into digital commands that you can use to control the functions of a device’, according to a release from Facebook.
Facebook describes it as less like mind-reading, and more like choosing to act on a thought; ‘it’s a much faster way to act on the instructions that you already send to your device when you tap to select a song on your phone, click a mouse or type on a keyboard today.’
The bands also adapt specifically to the user, meaning they can ‘learn’ how your fingers move as you make typos, and correct them automatically.
It works in its most basic form through gestures referred to by Facebook as ‘clicks’, where the band tracks nerve signals, not visual sensors. Facebook says that EMG has the capacity to progress to controls like touching and moving objects in AR, which they describe as akin to the Force in Star Wars.
Ultimately, Facebook’s plan is for EMG to allow you to perform tasks like typing at high speeds on a table, or your lap – without the need for a physical keyboard.
The wristband shares some similarities to the Mudra band, which works with Apple watches by sensing electrical signals sent to your fingers from your brain.
According to Mudra, the band “listens” to the wearer’s brain to nervous system to wrist transmission and translates it, transmitting it to a phone or watch.
Ultimately, this means that you can control an Apple Watch without tapping it, but instead by making certain gestures.
Featured Image: Facebook
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