Facebook released a blog detailing their experiments with a brain-computer interface (BCI) program, hinting at the direction the parent company of Oculus may take with its AR glasses.

In effect, the brain activity recorded while people talk may be used to almost instantly convert what they were saying into text on screens. This is a first in BCI research, though the error rate is at 17%.

Supporting a team at the University of California, the company has revealed some of the progress they have made, with BCI as a potential input solution for AR glasses. The company notes that the future is a long way off.

Crucially, Facebook recognises that voice inputs is not always practical, so have looked at direct interfaces with the brain.

According to Facebook Reality Labs, “we’re standing on the edge of the next great wave in human-oriented computing, one in which the combined technologies of AR and VR converge and revolutionize how we interact with the world around us — as well as the ways in which we work, play, and connect.”

Analysis

We have known for a while that Facebook is looking at doing AR glasses. It is also possible that the AR glasses will be under the Oculus label as well. The company is linked to immersive technologies, and is less embroiled in the data privacy issues which Facebook is experiencing. Then again, a device that interfaces with the brain may raise some eyebrows initially.

The goal is for Facebook to have a seamless interaction method. To close the barriers for adoption technology, it needs to be as easy as possible to use and interact with. Once done, adoption may spike.

These are still early stages; any tech featured by the company may not be used or featured in the years to come. But it shows the company is looking at the ways in which AR glasses could be controlled in the future, and some progress may be shown in September this year at Oculus Connect 6. Time will tell.


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Tom Ffiske

Editor, Virtual Perceptions

Tom Ffiske specialises in writing about VR, AR, and MR across the immersive reality industry. Tom is based in London. 

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