Is telepathy texting the next step in technology communications?
With over 2 billion registered members, Facebook is the world’s most popular online service. But to maintain that title, Facebook is constantly developing new services to keep people logging in. In a recent video conference, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg discussed one of the cutting edge projects his team are working on. The top secret Building 8 division has begun to develop what they call a “direct brain interface”, or the technology that would allow to text by “telepathy”.
What would you do with a direct brain interface?
The direct brain interface is intended to capture the words you plan to speak as they pass through your brain. These thoughts would then be converted into text, ready for transmission – to a nearby screen, or even directly into the mind of another person using a similar interface.
Initially, Facebook hopes that their new technology will allow people with brain injuries or communication problems finally “speak” with the outside world. One scientist working on the project believes such a device would be “as transformative as the computer mouse”.
Taking the direct brain interface mainstream
Once the medical application has been proven, Facebook would naturally expect to take the interface mainstream. Zuckerberg described how he would like to see the technology used to send messages telepathically between Facebook users.
Because the technology is “decades” from release, it is hard to properly imagine what the interface could do. At the most basic level it will probably work like a person-to-person version of the Facebook Messenger app. Presumably users would be able to send text messages direct to the brain of their friends, anywhere in the world without having to lift a finger, or making a sound.
The potential for problems
Just like any computing device, there is always a potential risk that the direct brain interface could be hacked. Again, the specifics of such an attack are hard to guess, but could be relatively harmless, such as receiving unwanted advertising messages directly into the brain.
The outcomes of a cyberattack could conceivably be far worse too. Malware that increases processor activity could cause the interface to overheat, damaging the brain for instance. As the Stuxnet virus demonstrated, malware can cause physical damage. But if that damage is caused to devices connected directly to the human brain, the results could be catastrophic – potentially fatal.
Plenty of time to prepare
The good news is that Facebook’s telepathic text system is still a long, long way from even having something to test. It will be many years before we see a working prototype, let alone a unit that we can actually buy.
In the meantime, engineers will be hard at work developing security measures to protect users against hackers and malware. And as devices finally start to appear, you can expect to see new anti-malware products going on sale to add an extra layer of defence.
In the meantime, why not check if Facebook Messenger is properly protected on your phone with a free Panda Mobile Security download