Facebook has announced that it is taking its innovation to a whole new level and plans to create an interface that will let you communicate with your mind.
Yes, that’s right – a brain-to-text interface.
The company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg shed a bit of light on the plan in a statement on Wednesday.
“We’re working on a system that will let you type straight from your brain about 5x faster than you can type on your phone today. Eventually, we want to turn it into a wearable technology that can be manufactured at scale,” Zuckerberg said in the post.
He cited the brain’s speed and efficiency over speech – brains produce enough data to stream four HD movies every second, according to Zuckerberg. Speech, on the other hand, transmits “about the same amount of data as a 1980s modem”.
The technology to create this platform is still in its early stages and has to advance significantly before it yields any results.
However, Zuckerberg outlines it as a “first step.”
The project is being led by Facebook’s Building 8 division.
Building 8’s Regina Dugan shed further light on the project and elaborated on its goals in another post.
She referred to the technology as “silent speech interfaces”.
“Over the next 2 years, we will be building systems that demonstrate the capability to type at 100 wpm by decoding neural activity devoted to speech,” she said.
The plan is to make the system non-invasive for communicators.
Not only will this be useful for most people, but it will be a monumental development for people with communication disorders.
There are even plans in place to develop a system that will allow you to “hear through your skin”, according to Dugan.
“Today we demonstrated an artificial cochlea of sorts and the beginnings of a new a ‘haptic vocabulary’,” she said.