New Facebook wristband lets users control computers with their brain

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Silicon Valley based technology conglomerate, Facebook Inc., has reportedly announced that it has developed a new bracelet that allows people to move digital objects with the help of motor signals from their brain.

The device looks like an iPod strapped to a wristband and utilizes sensors for the detection of intended movements. The object also uses EMG (electromyography) for the interpretation of electrical signals from motor nerves in the process of sending information from the brain to the hand.

According to Facebook, the device, which is not yet named, would allow people to navigate menus in augmented reality by just thinking about the movement of the finger to scroll.

As per sources, the disclosure is the second in a series of three announcements intended at setting up the company as a notable entity in the field of augmented reality. On 9th March 2021, Facebook had also stated that its glasses would be capable of responding to immediate surroundings. The company has also shared plans to unveil its own haptic gloves and other wearables in 2021.

Back in September 2019, Facebook took over startup CTRL-labs for an amount ranging between $500 million and $1 billion. The startup had been developing its own wrist-based electromyography device, and as per Thomas Reardon, the head of CTRL, the device was “not mind control” as this comes from the part of the brain that exercises control over motor information and not thought.

Reliable sources state that Facebook’s new device overlays information on the company’s view of the real world, whether it be maps, data, or other images. Till date, the most financially successful augmented reality experiment was Pokémon Go, a smartphone game that was launched in 2016.

However, the promises the technology made initially have faded through the interceding years, as organizations have struggled to translate the technology into something light, appealing, and usable. Facebook, claims to have broken past this limitation as it is hailing its wristband to be more user friendly.

Source credit: https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/03/18/1021021/facebook-augmented-reality-wristband/