Facebook has a lot of things up its sleeve, recently unveiling a series of research projects designed to help us communicate using new technologies.
This is being driven by a relatively new group within the company called Building 8. They hope to offer systems that will allow people to type using their thoughts, or hearing through their skin!
Regina Dugan, head of Building 8 research says “It’s closer than you think”. The company already has 60 engineers working on the systems, including what Dugan called "a brain mouse," but is just getting started.
Such a product could allow the deaf and blind to communicate more easily — or allow everyone else "to type five times faster than you can on a smartphone," according to Dugan.
The efforts take advantage of the immense computing power of the human brain, which can stream 40 high-definition movies at any moment, Dugan said.
At the same time, these efforts raise hard questions related to patient privacy, as any brain-to-text system will essentially read a person's unspoken thoughts.
The team plans to use optical imaging to scan your brain a hundred times per second to detect you speaking silently in your head, and translate it into text.
Still, the end products produced by Dugan and her Building 8 teams could greatly enhance the ability of the disabled to see and hear.