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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