During the Meta Connect 2022 Keynote, viewers were treated to a segment dedicated to what’s being worked on in the world of augmented reality (AR) glasses, while also enjoying details regarding upcoming neural interface hardware accessories from Meta Reality Labs.
Among these accessories is a futuristic neural wristband with a demo of the “research prototype” being shown briefly during the keynote as a way to help give people a better idea in regards to how the device may work in the future. These neural wristbands utilize electromyography (EMG), or the electrical measurements of muscles, as a way to measure inputs.
Speaking on this more, Mark Zuckerberg mentions how the wristbands can let you control AR or VR devices via motor neuron signals. “I’ve talked a lot about neural interfaces and our research on EMG before, and we now have a working demo that lets you control an AR or VR device with motor neuron signals,” explained Mark Zuckerberg during the Meta Connect 2022 Keynote.
Zuckerberg goes on to say that he’s not going to show off the headset this year, before sharing some of what he’s seeing using the headset and the neural wristband prototype together.
Meta’s focus on augmented reality and neural wearables has been outlined by the company previously, including in a blog post from 2021 in which the company talks about its 10-year vision of a “contextually-aware, AI-powered interface for augmented reality (AR) glasses that can use the information you choose to share, to infer what you want to do, when you want to do it.”
More specifically, wrist-based input that’s separate from Meta’s haptic glove research. Touching on why the company decided to pursue wrist-based inputs as opposed to voice, it’s noted that voice inputs aren’t ideal for use in the public sphere, particularly where privacy is concerned. Furthermore, a completely separate device stored in the user’s pockets “adds a layer of friction between you and your environment.”
According to Meta’s blog post, the signals from the wrist while using the neural wristband are so clear that “EMG can understand finger motion of just a millimeter.”
For more on this, be sure to read through the full blog post on Meta’s website. And for more from the Meta Connect 2022 Keynote check out some of our previous coverage, including how Xbox Cloud Gaming and Game Pass are coming to Meta Quest, and the reveal of the Meta Quest Pro headset priced at $1,499 (USD).