At Facebook’s annual developer conference, F8, on Wed, the cluster unveiled what could also be Facebook’s most ambitious—and creepiest—proposal nevertheless. Facebook needs to create its own “brain-to-computer interface” that might enable U.S.A. to send thoughts straight to a laptop.
What if you may sort directly from your brain?” provincial capital Dugan, the pinnacle of the company’s close hardware R&D division, Building 8, asked from the stage. Dugan then proceeded to point out a video demo of a girl typewriting eight words per minute directly from the stage. during a few years, she said, the team hopes to demonstrate a period silent speech system capable of delivering 100 words per minute.
“That’s 5 times quicker than you’ll be able to sort on your smartphone, and it’s straight from your brain,” she said. “Your brain activity contains additional info than what a word looks like and the way it’s spelled; it additionally contains linguistics info of what those words mean.”
Brain-computer interfaces area unit nothing new. DARPA, that Dugan wont to head, has endowed heavily in brain-computer interface technologies to try to to things like cure psychological state and restore reminiscences to troopers lacerate in war. however what Facebook is proposing is probably additional radical—a world during which social media doesn’t need learning a phone or sound a carpus watch so as to speak along with your friends; a world wherever we’re connected all the time by thought alone.
“Our world is each digital and physical,” she said. “Our goal is to form and ship new, category-defining consumer products that are social first, at scale.”
She also showed a video that demonstrated a second technology that showed the ability to “listen” to human speech through vibrations on the skin. This tech has been in development to aid people with disabilities, working a little like a Braille that you feel with your body rather than your fingers. Using actuators and sensors, a connected armband was able to convey to a woman in the video a tactile vocabulary of nine different words.
Dugan adds that it’s also possible to “listen” to human speech by using your skin. It’s like using braille but through a system of actuators and sensors. Dugan showed a video example of how a woman could figure out exactly what objects were selected on a touchscreen based on inputs delivered through a connected armband.
Facebook’s Building 8 is modeled after DARPA and its projects tend to be equally ambitious. Brain-computer interface technology is still in its infancy. So far, researchers have been successful in using it to allow people with disabilities to control paralyzed or prosthetic limbs. But stimulating the brain’s motor cortex is a lot simpler than reading a person’s thoughts and then translating those thoughts into something that might actually be read by a computer.
The end goal is to build an online world that feels more immersive and real—no doubt so that you spend more time on Facebook.
“Our brains produce enough data to stream 4 HD movies every second. The problem is that the best way we have to get information out into the world — speech — can only transmit about the same amount of data as a 1980s modem,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. “We’re working on a system that will let you type straight from your brain about 5x faster than you can type on your phone today. Eventually, we want to turn it into a wearable technology that can be manufactured at scale. Even a easy yes/no ‘brain click’ would facilitate create things like increased reality feel abundant additional natural.”