The first products to integrate Facebook-owned CTRL Labs’ AI finger-tracking tech are “years” away.
In another AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on his Instagram page, VP of Augmented and Virtual Reality Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth said the technology developed by CTRL Labs, a startup acquired by Facebook in 2019, isn’t decades away but instead more like years:
“It’s years away from hitting [consumers] in some form. I think the vision is probably closer to decade scale than year scale, but the initial impact, early work, is closer than people think.”
Facebook’s Oculus Quest headsets today support controller-free hand tracking, done via the cameras on the headset. It requires a well-lit room, there’s a small but noticeable delay, and it doesn’t work if your hands overlap. Better cameras, depth sensors, and faster chips could improve this, but there could always be scenarios where the headset can’t see the movement of one or more fingers.
Before being acquired by Facebook in 2019, CTRL Labs was developing a wristband that could track the user’s fingers by reading electrical signals inside their wrist — a non-direct form of a brain-computer interface (BCI).
Earlier this year Facebook showed off the progress made since the acquisition, including more refined hardware which it claims can decode the activity of individual neurons for “almost infinite control over machines”