Even the most zealous Facebook user would probably have to admit that the company knows too much about us. That’s why it’s so troubling that Facebook has expressed an interest in technology that can read peoples’ brain waves. This week, the social media giant took another step toward making this seemingly-science fiction tech a reality by spending nearly $1 billion to acquire a company working on brain-reading wristbands.
Though this device doesn’t yet exist, it would hypothetically detect the electrical signals sent from a wearer’s brain intended for their hands. It could then control actions for them like typing or swiping — without the user having to lift a finger.
“The wristband will decode those [neural] signals and translate them into a digital signal your device can understand,” Facebook head of AR and virtual reality Andrew Bosworth wrote. “It captures your intention so you can share a photo with a friend using an imperceptible movement or just by, well, intending to.”
Technological issues aside, it’s still not clear if a Facebook product like this could ever actually hit the market. For a company with numerous privacy problems, it’s difficult to envision lawmakers or the public welcoming a mind-reading feature. Still, Facebook has invested heavily in making it happen, and what Facebook wants, it usually gets.
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