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Neural sleuths and cyber wristbands

by on21 February 2024

Meta mystery unfolds

Meta maestro Mark Zuckerberg says he plans to release a wristband humming with neural secrets to revolutionise the digital underworld.

Zuckerberg spilt the beans on the Morning Brew Daily talk show, saying Meta was close to having something here that will have in a product in the next few years.

It involves an entirely different approach to finger tracking: to sense the neural electrical signals passing through your wrist to your fingers from your brain, using electromyography (EMG).

In theory, this could have zero or even negative latency, perfect accuracy, work regardless of lighting conditions, and not be subject to occlusion.

Occlusion-free finger tracking of this quality and reliability could allow precise control of complex interfaces with incredibly subtle movements of your hand resting on your lap, making it an ideal input method for headsets and AR glasses.

In early 2023, an internal Meta AR/VR hardware roadmap leaked to The Verge, revealing details about Quest 3, the existence of the headset now rumoured to be called Quest 3 Lite, and the cancellation of the 2024 candidate for Quest Pro 2 in favour of a more ambitious but “way out” model. But this roadmap also mentioned that Meta planned to release the neural wristband alongside the third-generation Ray-Ban smartglasses in 2025 as the input method.

According to that roadmap, two wristband models will be offered at different price points - one with the neural input tech only and another with a display and camera to act as a smartwatch. A second wristband generation will also be the input device for the true AR glasses Meta plans to launch in 2027.

This plan or the timeline may have changed in the year since, but based on Zuck’s comments, the technology is coming out.

Last modified on 21 February 2024
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