Who's ready to let future Facebook Augmented Reality Smartglasses read their brains? Whether you're ready or not, the technology giant is making progress in the field of Brain Control Interfaces (BCI) by having the research funded partners do it.
Those who research Facebook in this area remember that at its F8 Developers Conference in 2017, the company announced plans to build systems that allow users to tap the brain at speeds of up to 100 words per minute can .
"We've already learned a lot," said Mark Chevillet, a research director for Facebook Reality Labs, in a recent blog post.
"At the beginning of the program, for example, we asked our co-workers to share this with us Some de-identified patient recordings of epilepsy patients with us so we can check how their software works." This is widely used in the research community and is now used by some journals We are not bored. We are even provided with data on the electrodes. "
Advances include studies by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), published in an article on Nature in the field of decoded language.
Don Do not we already have a voice, you say? Yes, but this experimental technology would actually interpret neural signals in the brain to turn the intended language into complete messages. The breakthrough of UCSF is that these signals can now be decoded in real time.
Through question-and-answer experiments it was possible to generate signals for perceiving questions and formulating responses in the Isolate the brain to detect voice activity and predict responses in real time. In addition, the team was able to train a speech event detector to detect the signals that elicit these responses.
The UCSF method involves invasive BCI methods, ie electrodes implanted in the user's head. However, Facebook also supports research in the field of non-invasive methods methods.
While the UCSF method involves invasive BCI methods, namely, electrodes implanted in the user's head (similar to the method recently introduced by Elon Musk's Neuralink project), Facebook also supports noninvasive research.  One such approach involves the use of infrared light to measure changes in brain oxygen levels due to neuronal activity. For these methods Facebook Reality Labs collaborates with the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology of the Washington University School of Medicine and the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University. Facebook Reality Labs has developed a prototype of a wearable BCI device for use in this investigation (see illustration at the top of this page).
However, current non-invasive technology is still too cumbersome and slow, requiring many iterations and technical improvements before commercial production seriously considered. In addition, BCI's unique oxygen measurement method limits itself to identifying individual words that the user imagines, as opposed to complete sentences that can be achieved using invasive methods.
The issue of input for everyday-use AR goggles is still unresolved, and BCI provides a compelling path to a solution.
This does not mean that non-invasive BCI devices in the portable augmented reality ecosystem ultimately fail At home, single commands like "home" or "select" could make computing in an AR headset more seamless.
"The question of how to enter an AR pair suitable for everyday use is still unclear, and BCI is a convincing way to a solution," wrote the research team of Facebook in the blog post. "In a decade, the ability to tap directly from our brains is accepted as given, not so long ago it sounded like science fiction, now it feels plausible, and our responsibility to ensure that these technologies work for everyone . " starts today. All this research is exciting, but there's an elephant in the room to talk to, and in recent years Facebook has earned a reputation for dealing with user data and privacy quickly and easily and the company has now caught the attention of federal investigators and is facing an antitrust investigation.
In her presentation on F8 in 2017, Regina Dugan, vice president of Building 8 (Facebook's advanced research team), noted that BCI does not have all the thoughts But would that really be enough in the face of Facebook's checkered privacy history to reassure users' attention?
While an upward trend, in this case Facebook-financed breakthroughs in BCI, which will boost Facebook's interest for next generation generation interfaces for Augmented Reality could have a frightening effect just because of their association. Nonetheless, the possibility of thought-provoking AR wearables in the future is a fascinating concept that is likely to gain further momentum.