Looking towards the future of social interaction, with the lines between digital and reality slowly blurring out, Facebook is looking for new ways through which we can chat, collaborate and interact on their platform. With the introduction of elements like Facebook Spaces and VR, this social media network is now looking to do things a bit differently – is this Facebook in the future?
Announced at the F8 annual conference in California – a conference intended for developers and entrepreneurs, building third-party products or services around the social network – Facebook is working to release a system that will let users type with their brain waves…yes, you read correctly.
Not just a stream-of-thought writing utensil, this system is about decoding which words you have selected, translating from the speech center of your brain rather than directly from your pattern of thought. A good comparison which Facebook made would be to look at this system like a photographer putting out images – while a photographer may take many photos over the course of a shoot, only a few are selected for feature. In this way, the silent speech system focuses on the words you choose to use rather than any words you think of. This intelligent design would allow for a much more dynamic and user friendly application, giving you a smart text translator that does more than just decode what you are thinking.
Honing in on the flexibility of speech and thought processes, applying it to the private text situation, the silent speech system is aimed to work at a rate of around 100 words per minute – five times faster than average smart phone typing. With so many viable applications for this kind of technology, the system could change the way we interact with text online.
Utilising a non-invasive, wearable sensor that can be manufactured at scale, is this the next generation of text online? With the need for an optimized writing tool of this nature, this could change not only the use of social media, but content generation across the board. Giving freedom and versatility to the writer or user, this could change the way we look at written world in the 21 century.
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