In the fast advancement of technology nowadays, Facebook is now taking up the lead again for building augmented reality system and developing a radical brain-computer interface for typing and skin-hearing.
Mark Zuckerberg, the social network’s founder, took to the stage at the firm’s annual F8 developer conference at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center to introduce what he called the ‘second act’ in Facebook’s camera strategy – a new platform to allow developers to build AR apps that intensifies its battle with Snapchat, and confirming the rumours of a new neural ‘mind control’ interface.
‘We’re building further out beyond augmented reality, and that includes work around direct brain interfaces that one day will let you communicate using only your mind, although that stuff is pretty far out,’ he said.
Yesterday at F8, Regina Dugan, the head of Facebook’s R&D division Building 8, revealed that Facebook has a team of 60 dedicated developers building a system that allows us to type using just our grey matter. The team plans to use optical imaging to scan the brain a hundred times per second to detect you speaking silently in your head, and translate it into text. While the average typing speed is around 40 Words Per Minute (WPM), this “silent speech interface” could enable you to effortlessly express your thoughts at a whopping 100 WPM, using neural activity to craft a status or message at five times the speed of a smartphone.
In an article published in TechCrunch, it was said that Building 8 only began working on project six months ago, but is now is collaborating with UC San Francisco, UC Berkeley, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Researchers who specialize in machine learning for decoding speech and language, building optical neuroimaging systems with advanced spatial resolution and next-generation neural prosthetics are involved.
Also, it was reported that Building 8 is working on a way for humans to hear through their skin. It’s been building prototypes of hardware and software that let the skin mimic the cochlea in the ear that translates sound into specific frequencies for the brain. This technology could let deaf people essentially “hear” by bypassing their ears.
A team of Facebook engineers was shown experimenting with hearing through skin using a system of actuators tuned to 16 frequency bands. A test subject was able to develop a vocabulary of nine words they could hear through their skin.
The F8 conference has revealed more surprising information that supports the Facebook’s plan of making another great breakthrough in the world. The Futurism news detailed the highlight the information released about the work B8 has been doing.