Facebook is planning to read your mind! The technology giant is developing a new system that aims to allow users to type messages by using their minds. During its annual conference on Wednesday the social network company unveiled its a project in the pipelines that would give the opportunity to the platform’s users to type messages either by thinking them or through their skin to hear words. “Speech is essentially a compression algorithm, and a lousy one at that,” Facebook executive and former DARPA director Regina Dugan told a packed audience at the Silicon Valley event. The project progressed from a concept 6 months ago to a team of more than 60 scientists, engineers and system integrators working towards achieving realising the idea. “We are just getting started,” Dugan said.
“We have a goal of creating a system capable of typing 100 words-per-minute straight from your brain.” Video played during her presentation showed a woman with an advanced neurodegenerative disease using her mind to move a cursor on a computer screen, slowly typing words.
Such technology could let people fire off text messages or emails by thinking, instead of needing to interrupt what they are doing to use smartphone touchscreens, for example.
The group is also working on sensors that let people “hear” through their skin, with what they feel being converted into words in a variation on how the ear turns vibrations into comprehensible sounds.
“Our brains have the ability to construct language from components,” Dugan said.
“I suggest that one day, not so far away, it may be possible for me to think in Mandarin and for you to feel it instantly in Spanish.”
Such technology remains years away, according to Dugan.