Neural Wristband For AR/VR Input Will Ship “In The Next Few Years”

Neural Wristband For AR/VR Input Will Ship “In The Next Few Years”

Technology News |
By Wisse Hettinga

Meta’s CEO indicated that the finger tracking neural wristband the company has been developing will ship as a product “in the next few years”

an report

In late 2019 Facebook acquired a New York based startup called CTRL Labs, which had been working on the idea of a finger tracking wristband since at least 2015, though an early 2019 patent filing suggests Facebook was already working on it too internally. The CEO and co-founder of CTRL Labs, Thomas Reardon, has led the project within Meta since the acquisition.

While headsets like Meta Quest and Apple Vision Pro are already capable of tracking your fingers optically using computer vision, this approach has limited accuracy and relatively high latency. It’s also prone to occlusion issues, and performs worse in dimmer lighting.

An entirely different approach to finger tracking is to sense the neural electrical signals passing through your wrist to your fingers from your brain, using a technique called electromyography (EMG). Theoretically this could have zero or even negative latency, perfect accuracy, work regardless of lighting conditions, and not be subject to occlusion. When discussing the technology in 2021 Reardon claimed that a recent breakthrough enabled decoding the activity of individual neurons for “almost infinite control over machines”.

Occlusion-free finger tracking of this quality and reliability could enable 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.




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