What: Facebook Facebook, Inc. 251,09 -5,75 -2,24% might be ahead of the game when it comes to eerily inventions and now it has set sight on reading users’ minds.
How: Following its latest acquisition of neural interface company CTRL-labs, the tech giant will develop a wristband intended to help people interact with their devices in “natural, intuitive ways”, the company explained.
In the words of Andrew Bosworth, VP of AR/VR at Facebook, the wristband will pick up electrical signals moving from a user’s spinal chord [sic] to their hand helping them to perform different actions like clicking a mouse.
The product: “The wristband […] captures your intention so you can share a photo with a friend using an imperceptible movement or just by, well, intending to.”, Bosworth explained.
But fret not. This is intended to empower “you with control over your digital life.”, he said.
Backstory: Facebook has recently suspended “tens of thousands” of apps over privacy concerns, following the Cambridge Analytica investigations. Those led to a record $5 billion fine against Facebook over what has turned into a misfortunate tale with repercussions far and beyond the tech world.
The genie is out of the bottle, however, with numerous brain-computer-interface (BCI) projects in the lab and billions in investment from public and private entities, including DARPA.
Alongside the obvious upside (e.g. medical and cognitive benefits), such developments have already caused widespread fear and outcry with potential privacy and ethical consequences which are currently hard to predict.
They have also given a boost to different innovations in business and marketing like neuromarketing for instance. So, time will tell whether the benefits will outweigh the risks.