10 months ago
Facebook just revealed its plan to continue expanding into hardware with a brain-computer interface that lets people type with thoughts and hear through their skin.
Unlike Elon Musk’s Neuralink implant, the social media company is building a non-invasive device that uses optical imaging to scan the brain a hundred times a minute for thoughts people intend to share and then translate that data into text.
At its annual F8 conference on Thursday, Facebook announced it had a team of 60 engineers working on the project in its secretive research lab Building 8, led by former DARPA head Regina Dugan. According to Techcrunch, the eventual goal is to let people type five times faster than they can on their phone, by using only their mind.
Aside from mind-reading, Building 8 is developing a combination of hardware and software that makes human skin function like the ear’s cochlea by translating sound, which is made up vibrations in the air. The system uses actuators tuned to certain frequencies, giving the deaf the ability to hear by circumventing their ears.
In preliminary tests, Facebook was able to teach someone nine words via their skin.