Facebook finally explains its mysterious new wrist wearable

Facebook is developing a wrist-worn wearable that senses nerve activity that controls your hands and fingers. The design could enable new types of human-computer interactions.

Enlarge / Facebook is developing a wrist-worn wearable that senses nerve activity that controls your hands and fingers. The design could enable new types of human-computer interactions. (credit: Facebook)

It first appeared on March 9 as a tweet on Andrew Bosworth’s timeline, the tiny corner of the Internet that offers a rare glimpse into the mind of a Facebook executive these days. Bosworth, who leads Facebook’s augmented and virtual reality research labs, had just shared a blog post outlining the company’s 10-year vision for the future of human-computer interaction. Then, in a follow-up tweet, he shared a photo of an as yet unseen wearable device. Facebook’s vision for the future of interacting with computers apparently would involve strapping something that looks like an iPod Mini to your wrist.

Facebook already owns our social experience and some of the world’s most popular messaging apps—for better or notably worse. Anytime the company dips into hardware, then, whether that’s a very good VR headset or a video chatting device that follows your every move, it gets noticed. And it not only sparks intrigue, but questions too: Why does Facebook want to own this new computing paradigm?

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