Facebook, now Meta, shows off new neural interface tech during Connect conference

Last year, the biotech company Meta (formerly called Facebook), announced its plans to create glasses capable of integrating virtual reality and the real world via AI. This daunting feat, however, could take upwards of 10 years or more to accomplish. Yet, Meta is continuing their search for the perfect technology and equipment, modeling devices such as neural input wristbands that would give the owner control of various tasks by a flick of the wrist.

Referred to as “Project Aria”, the neural interface allows a hands-free option for augmented reality (AR) control. The mock-up wristband featured earlier this year resembles the Myo Armband created by Thalmic Labs back in 2015. Their model contains electromyography (EMG) sensors that work by detecting minute electrical activity within muscles. The band assesses these signals and converts them into appropriate instructions for the Aria.

According to last week’s announcement, plans for this technology include the ability to select tv options via the slight movement of the wrist or fingers. Additionally, the plans include the incorporation of cameras to help the owner recognize and virtualize real-world home objects. For example, with this technology, it will be possible to bring your actual living room furniture, such as a sofa and side table, into the virtual realm, enabling you to interact with them virtually or to better show augmented reality (AR) displays on tangible surfaces.

This bracelet, like Project Aria, is not yet available. With a bigger goal in mind, Meta is continuing to manufacture VR and AR devices as part of its long-term objective. The technology is at minimum a year, possibly a decade, away from being ready, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Meanwhile, it provides a clear picture of Meta’s vision for the future of virtual and augmented reality, as well as an indicator of the capabilities of future goods.


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