Does it work like Facebook claims? Too early to say. The product is still in research and development at the company’s internal Facebook Reality Labs, and I was unable to try. It is not yet known when it will be released or how much it will cost.
Years in the making: Facebook acquired the startup CTRL-labs in September 2019 to between $ 500 million and $ 1 billion. CTRL had worked on his own EMG device on the wrist, and its leader, Thomas Reardon, who is now the Director of Neuromotor Interfaces at Facebook Reality Labs. During the press preview, Reardon said the device was “not mind control.” He added, “It comes from the part of the brain that controls motor information, not the thought.”
The AR game: This announcement is the second in a series of three that have been planned to define the company’s position in augmented reality. On March 9, Facebook ad that its glasses respond to the immediate environment – walking past your favorite coffee shop, the glasses might ask you if you want to place an order. Facebook says it will reveal its own haptic gloves and other wearable accessories later this year.
Another confidentiality pitfall? Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has aggressively invested in augmented and virtual reality, recognizing that products like these can mean access to countless valuable data points. In the cafe example above, the business (and therefore advertisers) might know what type of cafe you prefer, where you live and, by statistical inference, your demographics, health, and other personal information. And given the company’s history of privacy, there is reason to be skeptical.
Editor’s Note: We have changed the job title Reardon.