Facebook showed off an augmented reality system that can be controlled by small movements of the fingers and wrist. For example, with its help, text can be typed faster than on a mechanical keyboard.
The researchers’ idea is that they use a technique called electromyography, or EMG, to detect nerve signals that travel through the wrist. A device worn by a person is equipped with special sensors that can interpret these signals and translate them into “digital commands”. They, in turn, help control devices or the AR interface.
“It’s not like reading minds,” says the Facebook blog. – The technology is more like taking some photos and want to share some of them. Likewise, you can have many thoughts, but only a few of them lead to some kind of action. It’s about decoding those wrist signals – actions you’ve already decided to do – and translating them into digital commands.”
One of the advantages of the system is that it is so accurate that it can “understand even millimeter finger movements”. Such accuracy allows navigation even through AR interfaces. Facebook researchers also say the system could allow people to type faster on a virtual keyboard than a mechanical one.
While Facebook is setting up the basics of interacting with the system. The company has already shown an interaction called “smart click” – it allows users to “click” on a menu by moving only their fingers. The interface can also adapt based on contextual information and what it knows about you, such as queuing up songs in a playlist when you go for a run.