OPINION: Brain typing could revolutionize communication


Photo by MichaelMaggs, via Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA 3.0

Daniel Smith, Opinion Editor

Typing things can be a drag. Every day, millions of people have to suffer through the exhausting finger movements that typing on a keyboard requires. But now, there might be a better way to send messages.

Facebook is developing a system that allows users to type using only their thoughts.

Jokes aside, this is an incredible breakthrough. Technology like this could give paralyzed people and people who cannot use their hands the ability to type.

The technology is still in an early phase of development, but it will involve the detection of brainwaves and will not require invasive technology.

Current brain-typing technology requires expensive brain implants in patients and works at low speeds. The highest tying speed for someone with these implants is about seven words per minute.

This new technology could allow users to type at speeds of 100 words per minute, instead of the current average of 40 words per minute on a computer.

The technology would not be just for people with disabilities. Facebook intends the technology to be used by everyone. A person wearing the device would be able to think of a text to send and immediately send it without touching a phone.

Facebook already anticipates the backlash against this. A Facebook representative told Josh Constantine, an editor-at-large for TechCrunch, that the technology is not meant to record all of an individual’s random thoughts and send them, only the thoughts they want to send. The representative compared it to how people take many pictures, but only share some of them.

This technology is still years away. Until then, we can continue to use the excuse “I thought I texted you back” when we forget to answer someone.

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