Facebook bought the assets and technologies of CTRL-labs, a young neurointerface development studio. The details of the deal were not disclosed, but Andrew Bosworth, head of virtual and augmented reality, spoke about the prospects for using the acquisition. According to him, soon there will be a "bracelet" that can be put on a hand to read electrical impulses passing from the spinal cord to the nerves in the extremities.
If such signals can be recognized with high accuracy, then there is a chance to decode them and interpret them as commands for a computer. And then the technology will need to be scaled up to intercept any other signals in the human nervous system. This is already the area of work of Facebook Reality Labs, which is engaged in the creation of finished products based on advanced developments, such as human-computer neural interfaces.
Earlier this year, scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, supported by Facebook, showed technology to translate brain signals into letters and individual words. This was presented as a breakthrough in the field, but it quickly became apparent that the available groundwork was not enough. For example, the advantage of the same CTRL-labs is that its readers are non-invasive, it is enough to attach them to the user's body, and not to implant them into it.
It is interesting that the term "mind reading" in this case is taken almost literally, because in the optimal form, the technology should respond not to user actions, but to intentions to perform actions. And then a person only needs to want to press a button to open a new window in the application, as the system recognizes and executes this order. No mouse clicks, no muscle movements, no voice commands and even without formulating them, at an intuitive level.