Through your skin đ
Facebook are coming for you and all of your precious thoughts.
At its annual F8Â developer conference in San Jose, the company announced that they are developing technology that would allow users to control computers directly with theirÂ brains, with the end goal being communication using nothing butÂ our minds.Â
âWe are not talking about decoding your random thoughts,â explained Regina Dugan, head of Facebookâs innovation and hardware lab Building 8. âYou have many thoughts, you choose to share some of them. Weâre talking about decoding those words. A silent speech interface â one with all the speed and flexibility of voice.â
In a move that definitely isnât anything like the beginning of every dystopian sci-fi thriller ever, Dugan has assembled a team of 60 top scientists to construct aÂ noninvasive system capable of typing 100 words per minute using only brain waves.Â She citedÂ the example of a woman with ALS who â via a small implant â could pick up on signals in her brain, allowing her to type eight words per minute using the power of thought.
As well as that, Facebook also unveiled plans to develop a way in which weÂ could hear through our skin, too. Apparently, the technology will perform the same role as the cochlea part of the ear, which translates sound into frequencies that are decoded by the brain. Hearing. Through our skin. Good. Â
âIt sounds impossible but itâs closer than you may realise,â said Dugan (see previous point about dystopian sci-fi thriller).Â
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hasnât ever been shy ofÂ his scientific ambitions. In February, Business InsiderÂ reported that he had almost 50 scientists on theÂ payroll as part of his ambitious plan to âcure all disease by the end of the 21st centuryâ. The company also purchased virtual reality company OculusÂ in 2014 for $2 billion, in a bid to make social media even moreÂ social.Â
So whatâs the end goal with all the brain tech? According to Dugan, itâs part of a bid to drag our eyesÂ away from our smartphones. Ah, our sweet, beloved, smartphones. Oh how we as a race have become so hopelessly dependent on you. I mean, how else would we check Facebook?Â