Facebook has brought in a multitude of innovations to the technological landscape. If the reports and rumors are to be believed, the company has been lavishing its attention on a potential smartwatch which can compete with the existing Apple Watch. The primary focus of the smartwatch is expected to be on health. According to the reports that came out earlier this year, the smartwatch supposedly runs on the open-source version of Android. It might prove to be a preferable alternative to Google’s wearOS.
This week, the company showcased another wrist based wearable that chimes in the company’s efforts in the field of augmented reality. The major point of focus of this project is to facilitate an alternative computer interface. The notable differences between the project and the earlier reports suggest another project in the making. The possibility of which cannot be completely overruled, owing to the capacity of Facebook. According to the blogpost yesterday,
“The wrist is a traditional place to wear a watch, meaning it could reasonably fit into everyday life and social contexts. It’s a comfortable location for all day wear. It’s located right next to the primary instruments you use to interact with the world-your hands. This proximity would allow us to bring rich control capabilities of your hands into AR, enabling intuitive, powerful and satisfying interaction.”
Though this information seems conceptual, it could be the base for incorporating increased levels of control in future AR systems. Even in its conceptual form, it exhibits a solution that is deeply rooted on human-computer integration.
This particular interface utilizes electromyography (EMG) sensors. This helps to interpret motor nerve signals and facilitates interaction with the interface. The particular feature was expounded by Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg during a Clubhouse event, while in discussion with Eric Migicovsky, YC partner and founder of Pebble. In the words of Zuckerberg,
“If you are trying to build a watch, which we’re exploring as we talked about the wrist thing and I don’t want to call it a watch, but its the basic neural interfaces work that our Facebook reality labs team demoed some of our research about today. With the neural interface on the wrist, if you want that to integrate with the phone in any way, its just so much easier on Android than iOS.”
Though the project is in its initial stage, its ‘exploration’ phase offers better promises for future. The future might witness EMG with better controls and in AR, it will be possible to move and touch UI’s and objects. It will be nothing short of a superpower.