Facebook plans use of prototype bracelet that allow us to move through interfaces with the mind

The evolution of the mouse and touchscreens is coming. The next step will be to click with our mind. At least that is what Facebook believes, which is now showing us its prototype bracelet capable of translating the signals from our brain and allowing us to control digital objects just by thinking about it.

Mike Schroepfer, CTO of Facebook, explains that “augmented reality is the next great evolution of computing. And although many of the devices that make it possible do not yet exist, we do know that they will require new forms of interaction.” To adapt to this next ecosystem that is coming, that of augmented reality, Facebook shows us this prototype bracelet that will allow us to move through the interface in a natural way and without the need to move our fingers. Just thinking.

Using electromyography to interpret the nerve signal reaching the hand

The Facebook bracelet is based on electromyography (EMG), a technique encompassed in the field of neuroscience that has already been tested in the past by researchers at MIT and that for a decade large technology companies such as Microsoft have among their plans to address the issue of control without touching.

With a rather rough appearance and a size somewhat larger than a smartwatch, according to Facebook, the device is capable of interpreting the electrical activity of the nerves as the brain sends information to the hand. Equivalent to when the hand receives the nerve signal to move, the bracelet could translate this signal to digitally apply the brain’s command.

Just by thinking of moving your finger, the Facebook device would allow you to move through augmented reality interfaces, as described from Facebook.

It is not the first time that Facebook talks about remote control for augmented reality. Already during the Facebook F8 conference in 2017, the company hinted at new forms of control. It has not been until now that their Reality Labs department has shown this prototype bracelet on video.

Facebook’s augmented reality runs through your mind with prototype bracelet

prototype bracelet

With the “mental click”, Facebook believes it will be able to convince new users of the benefits of augmented reality. Something that different specialized glasses such as Google Glass or Spectacles from Snap have not achieved in the past.

More details about this new project are unknown. At the moment Facebook explains that it is in development internally. No announced anticipation of when we could learn more information.

In September 2019, Facebook bought CTRL-Labs for between 500 and 1 billion dollars, a startup that developed a wristband to control computers with the mind. Until now we had not known the status of this collaboration, but Facebook has revealed the first details and the intention to go further with this idea of ​​mind control for augmented reality.

Thomas Reardon, founder of CTRL-Labs and recognized neuroscientist with experience at Microsoft, currently leads the Facebook Reality Labs group and explains that it is not a bracelet that “reads the mind”, since this “comes from the part of the brain that controls motor information, not thought.”

“Think of it this way. You take a lot of photos and choose to share only a few of them. Similarly, you have a lot of thoughts and choose to act only on some of them. When that happens, the brain sends signals to the hands and fingers telling them to be. move in specific ways to perform actions like typing and swiping. It involves decoding those signals on your wrist, the actions you’ve already decided to perform, and translating them into digital commands for your device. It’s a much faster way to follow directions than you already send to your device when you tap to select a song on your phone, click the mouse, or type on a keyboard, “Reardon describes.


A world of possibilities according to those responsible for Facebook and a new way of interacting adapted to the new style of devices that large companies plan to launch in the coming years.

Leave a Reply