Facebook wants you to get notifications through your skin
It means Facebook fans will never miss a message or alert even at times when they can’t check a phone, such as during a meeting or even in church.
The device could also come in handy if a user is driving or carrying bags in each hand. Research published by Facebook claims the invention is needed because it can be “devastating to miss an important call, text or notification from a loved one.”
Facebook calls the invention Transcutaneous Language Communication (TLC). It works by translating written words into electronic vibrations that are transmitted along the arm via pads in a special sleeve.
Volunteers in study groups were told that the vibrations made up parts of 20 different simple words including “they,” “me,” “mood,” “make,” “weed,” “cake,” “doom,” “meek” and “wake.”
Results showed they learned the words after just 26 minutes of training and could still remember them a day later. Researchers said: “We use the forearm because it has a better tactile sensitivity than most body parts, is less likely to disrupt daily activity compared to the hand and is more socially acceptable than the forehead or feet.”
“Users can receive meaningful messages on their arms by feeling the vibrotactile stimuli, instead of inconveniently taking out and looking at their smart devices.”
Facebook has published five papers by separate developers on the topic in recent months, suggesting it is serious about a commercial product. But Silkie Carlo, director of civil rights group Big Brother Watch, said last night: “This is a chilling insight into Facebook’s unstoppable desire to take over people’s minds and perhaps even their bodies. This unbelievable proposal would be laughable were it not so dangerous.”
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