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Facebook claims to be another step closer to developing augmented reality glasses (AR glasses) that allow people to type without having to use a keyboard. The glasses can be controlled with thoughts.

The tech and social media giant collaborates with the University of California in San Francisco, writes Silicon Angle. The aim of the project is to create a device that the brain can read and convert thoughts into text.


In Nature the scientists describe how they conducted a test with three volunteers. The volunteers were given electrodes on their heads, which are used to read the brain’s activity. The volunteers are in the hospital, because doctors try to find out where their epileptic seizures come from.

The scientists asked the volunteers questions, which they had to answer. It involved 24 questions, including how much pain they had and which musical instrument they prefer. The volunteers received a list of possible answers to the questions.

The software for mapping brain activity was trained on the basis of the questions and possible responses. Then the system learned to link the words to brain signals.


The scientists say that the results were not 100 percent accurate, but in some tests an accuracy of 76 percent was achieved.

This is the first time that this approach has been used to identify spoken words and sentences, says researcher David Moses. It is important to remember that we have achieved this with a very limited vocabulary, but in future studies we hope to increase the flexibility and accuracy of what we can translate.

Facebook itself says that the next step is not to measure brain activity with electrodes, but with near-infrared light. According to the techgigant, this infrared light must measure the oxygen in the brain from outside the body, in a safe and non-invasive way.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.