Facebook has jumped outside of being a social media outlet the past few years. It’s done well with its Portal devices, though the Facebook phones flopped several years ago. Now, Facebook is trying to put a wrist-based wearable on the market, one that will allow the user to control augmented reality with their mind.
Facebook Reality Labs Research
The team at Facebook Reality Labs Research is facing the challenge of finding a way to interact with AR other than with a PC. While you can find AR in headsets and glasses, there’s no way to emulate a mouse and keyboard.
This has led Facebook to work on creating a new device. It wants to create original HCIs (human-computer interfaces). A necessity because of the company’s reputation is to still offer privacy with the wearable. Artificial intelligence is seen as a critical ingredient.
The Facebook wearable isn’t even close to being market-ready, but the company does have ideas for bringing this idea to fruition. It believes a wearable worn on the wrist would be a good solution, rather than relying on voice commands. A wrist-worn device offers a mode that users are already comfortable with.
Electromyography sensors could convent signals sent between the brain and hands. Facebook believes there is enough sensitivity with EMG sensors to detect movements as small as one millimeter.
This has all led the company to believe devices could, potentially, detect a wearer’s intentions with no physical movement. The concept is to provide mind control through AR devices without users needing to have physical implants.
There is also hope for precise EMG sensors to support gesture controls, such as emulating a click by pinching your thumb and index finger together. These new AR-based gestures could extend to replacing what is done on a PC. There’s hope to also find a way to “type” to make writing emails, essays, etc., much faster.
Bringing the Concept to Reality
Again, all these concepts are quite a ways away. Facebook has not been able to connect the dots yet. It will also be necessary for all of the individual technologies being imagined to evolve together. The Facebook wearable concept needs each one of those pieces to work.
It does make you wonder what other companies are working on similar technology. Is Facebook’s research team the top of the line? Or are there other teams out there conceiving the same ideas? Will these ideas come to fruition someday? Or will they even be better?
It leads to much hope for the future, with so many, many possibilities.
Read on to learn about another imagined wearable that would utilize AR.