Facebook’s Latest Moon Shot: I Think, Therefore I Type

Facebook’s Latest Moon Shot: I Think, Therefore I Type

By Peter Suciu

Apr 21, 2017 5:00 AM PT

Facebook on Wednesday told its F8 conference audience about two new cutting-edge projects that could change the way humans engage with devices.

Over the next two years, the company will work on a new technology that will allow anyone to type around 100 words per minute — not with fingers, but using a process that would decode neural activity devoted to speech.

What Facebook envisions is a technology that would resemble a neural network, allowing users to share thoughts the way they share photos today.

This technology also could function as a speech prosthetic for people with communication disorders or as a new way to engage in an augmented reality environment, suggested Regina Dugan, vice president of engineering at Facebook’s Building8.

The other project announced at F8 would change the way users experience communication input — that is, it would allow them to “hear” through the skin. The human body has, on average, about two square meters of skin that is packed with sensors. New technologies could use them to enable individuals to receive information via a “haptic vocabulary,” Facebook said.

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