Facebook showed a prototype wristband that will allow users to control AR glasses using small finger and wrist movements. According to the developers, the device will allow you to type faster than a mechanical keyboard.
The device is based on a technology called electromyography (EMG). It can read neural signals that travel from the brain to nerve endings in the hands. The wristband is equipped with special sensors that can interpret these signals and translate them into digital commands, which help control augmented reality devices.
The company shared the capabilities of the new device, which is being developed by the Facebook Reality Labs division, in a video:
The video demonstrates how users will be able to manipulate virtual objects using these neural signals in the future. In addition, the company showed how such wristbands could be used to turn any surface into a keyboard.
“The wrist is a traditional place to wear a watch, meaning it could reasonably fit into everyday life and social contexts. It’s a comfortable location for all-day wear. It’s located right next to the primary instruments you use to interact with the world — your hands,” Facebook’s statement reads.
To develop the new product, the social media giant used the idea of the CTRL-Labs startup, which Facebook acquired in 2019. In particular, it worked on the possibility of using special bracelets that turn any surface into a keyboard.
Initially, the wristband will read a series of simple commands, like pinching the thumb and forefinger. Over time, Facebook plans to expand its capabilities. In particular, device owners will be able to control objects in virtual reality and type on the keyboard, move objects, etc.
The company plans to use the wristband with augmented reality smart glasses. In the fall of 2020, the head of the company, Mark Zuckerberg, confirmed that the release of the gadget is scheduled for 2021. The device will be created in partnership with Luxottica, which also owns the Ray-Ban brand