Facebook's Building 8 lab working on moonshots for mind and body
What if you could type directly from your brain?
It sounds impossible, but it's closer than you may realize, and it's just the kind of fluid human computer interface needed for AR.
A brain mouse for AR.
The woman in this video has ALS.
She is completely trapped inside her body.
She cannot move or speak.
But she is typing with her mind.
Not with eye blinks, with her mind.
An array of electrodes the size of a key has been implanted where here brain would normally control here mortar functions, she's typing at eight words per minute directly with her brain Now, to be clear, we are not talking about decoding your random thoughts.
Think of it more like this.
You take many photos, you choose to share some of them.
Similarly, you have many thoughts.
You choose to share some of them.
As it turns out the vibrotactile sensors imbedded in our skin allow us to interpret complex inputs.
The pressure change in a puff of air.
The vibration of the vocal cords and on the jaw as language.
What you'll observe in this video is a man deaf and blind speaking.
He is using only the sensors of his hand in his skin to hear, to process, interpret, and yes, even reproduce the spoken words of his teacher.
Remember he is deaf and blind, he is repeating words that he can not see or hear by feeling them.
Wait just a minute.
Did you forget to shut off the water?
From the 1950's until today what all of these techniques have in common is our brains ability to reconstruct language from components.
That's Freddy, he leads this project.
And that's Frances.
She's an electrical engineer.
She is not deaf and blind but she can hear through her skin.
She has a system of actuators on her left arm.
They're tuned to 16 different frequency bands Francis currently has a tactile vocabulary of about nine words.
She learned them in less than an hour.
The lights indicate the actuators firing, and you'll see that they fire so fast she must learn to actually feel the words.