Zuckerberg Teams Up With Ray-Ban Owner To Demonstrate Meta's Wearable Technology

Written By BlabberBuzz | Sunday, 08 May 2022 20:30
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On Wednesday, Meta Platforms Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg teased a new smart glasses project with EssilorLuxottica, posting a photo of the eyewear company’s chairman modeling a prototype of a neural interface wristband designed for directing other devices.

"Here Leonardo is using a prototype of our neural interface EMG wristband that will eventually let you control your glasses and other devices," Zuckerberg wrote in a post on Facebook, referring to EssilorLuxottica's chairman, Leonardo Del Vecchio. He concluded his message with a smiley-face emoji sporting sunglasses.

Facebook — which changed its name to Meta Platforms in October — announced in a blog post last year that it planned to develop a wristband that would control augmented reality glasses, allowing users to interact with a virtual world using finger movements.

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The wristband will be connected to the user’s AR glasses. It will use electromyography (EMG), which uses sensors to translate electrical motor nerve signals that travel through the wrist to the hand into digital commands. These commands can then be used to control the functions of a device, Facebook explained in a statement.

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These signals will enable users to communicate with the device and will include customizable and adaptable actions. Facebook declared that the signals through the wrist are so clear that EMG can understand finger motion of just a millimeter, meaning that it may even be possible to sense the intention of moving a finger.

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Using nerve signals to control actions has already been tried and tested by other companies. A patent filed by Apple in June last year revealed the company is looking at detecting hand gestures by monitoring veins within the wrist of the user to determine how the hand itself is moving, according to AppleInsider.

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However, the concept is far from mind reading, Facebook clarified. Just like one would snap several photos and choose to share only a few, one may have many thoughts but will choose to act on only some of them. At this point, your brain sends signals to your hands and fingers, telling them to move in specific ways to perform actions like typing and swiping. “This is about decoding those signals at the wrist - the actions you’ve already decided to perform - and translating them into digital commands for your device,” the company added.

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In AR, the wrist inputs will help users touch and move virtual objects and be able to control them at a distance.

Zuckerberg was in Milan to discuss plans for new smart glasses with the eyewear company.

Tech companies Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., and Alphabet Inc.'s Google have piled into the wearable tech business, developing augmented reality glasses in a bet they could one day replace mobile phones. Google also embraced fitness tracking technology by acquiring Fitbit for $2.1 billion.

In 2020, EssilorLuxottica and Meta Platforms announced a multi-year collaboration to devise smart glasses. They currently sell frames like the classic Ray-Ban Wayfarer model that are embedded with technology, allowing the wearer to take photos and listen to music and calls, starting at $299.

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