Facebook VP: BCIs Will Take Generations Before ‘High Bandwidth’

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As part of his latest Instagram AMA, Facebook Vice President of Augmented and Virtual Reality Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth gave his thoughts on the status of brain-computer interfaces.

Bosworth regularly hosts Instagram AMA (ask me anything) sessions where users can submit questions, which Bosworth can choose to reply to via a recorded response. One question took the topic of conversation toward technology that will be able to communicate back and forth directly with the brain. “When do you think brain machine interfaces will become a thing? Is Facebook working on it?”

Here’s a transcription of Bosworth’s full response:

Yeah, last year we acquired a company called CTRL Labs, and we are working on exactly that. We’ve been working with UCSF even before that. I think it’s gonna happen but it’s gonna take generations. First it’s gonna be one bit, then several bit, then high bandwidth.

The company mentioned by Bosworth, CTRL Labs, was a New York-based startup acquired by Facebook in September 2019. The company was developing a wristband that could track the user’s fingers by reading electric signals inside their arm — a primitive version of a brain-computer interface.

At the time of finalizing the acquisition, Facebook said that the CTRL Labs team would be integrated into Facebook Reality Labs. “They will be joining our Facebook Reality Labs team where we hope to build this kind of technology, at scale, and get it into consumer products faster,” said Bosworth in a Facebook post at the time.

You can see the rest of Bosworth’s AMA responses over on his Instagram account, @boztank.

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