Facebook’s secretive Building 8 R&D lab today revealed it’s working on a direct brain-to-computer interface that could let you type just by thinking without the need for invasive surgical implants. Facebook hope to optically scan your brain 100 times per second to determine what you’re silently saying in your head and convert it to text. Facebook’s goal is to let you type at 100 words per minute, 5X faster than on a phone, just using your brain.
Why: Though this technology is still in its early stages, one day it could power interfaces for virtual and augmented reality, where you can “brain-click” on the answer to the question rather than needing a screen or controller. By revealing this project now now, Facebook can combat the narrative that it’s stop innovating and just copies Snapchat. That way, top engineering talent keeps knocking on its door.