Facebook discusses how its AR glasses will work with nerve wristbands

According to the CNET reports, Facebook’s first pair of smart glasses will arrive this year. But for the next pair of glasses, they may be connected through the user’s wrist. A new article by Facebook Reality Labs discusses the company’s next frontier of neural input technology. The company imagines that AR glasses will work with a wristband to measure hand and finger gestures and provide tactile feedback.

Facebook seems to be dividing its progress in neural input into two waves: one is “recent” development, using “wrist-based input combined with available but limited contextualized AI.” Facebook plans to have a deeper conversation next week to provide more details about the research. The company also promised to provide “soft robotics research, comfortable all-weather wearable devices” and working details of tactile gloves later this year.

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Neural input technology measures the body’s electrical impulses (most commonly via the head or arms) and converts the signal into the input. Facebook acquired the neural input company CTRL-Labs in 2019, but this technology has not yet appeared in any Facebook products. Facebook pays particular attention to wrist-based EMG (electromyography), because the company can first explore a wristband-type device, and then explore haptic gloves or broader wearable devices. Perhaps this wrist-worn neural input device can finally be connected with the reported Facebook smartwatch plan.

Facebook’s head of AR/VR products, Andrew Bosworth, told CNET earlier this year that the advent of neural input technology is “faster than many people think,” but it is still a few years away from appearing in consumer products. An interview with Mark Zuckerberg recently published by The Information also discussed the prospects of neural input technology as a future smart glasses solution.

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