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Facebook working on tech to let you ‘hear with your skin’

Facebook working on tech to let you ‘hear with your skin’

PanARMENIAN.Net - Facebook’s advanced hardware group is working on technology to let you “hear with your skin.” The technology could be used to help deaf people communicate, but Facebook also envisions it as a way to advance communications for people who can already hear, allowing for such things as a conversation to be automatically translated into another language, The Verge says.

The technology is being developed by Facebook’s Building 8 research group, led by ex-DARPA director and former head of Google’s experimental research group Regina Dugan.

Dugan compared the technology to the cochlea in your ear, which translates sound into information readable by your brain. Facebook says it’s possible to reproduce the cochlea’s functions with hardware and then transmit that information to the brain by delivering it through a person’s skin.

Facebook was a little vague about the specifics of how it’ll work. It sounds like the technology won’t quite enable someone to “hear” a word, but to feel a vibration associated with it, which they can over time learn to understand.

The idea isn’t as out there as it sounds. Researchers have been trying to use the skin to transmit language for decades — though with limited degrees of success.

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