How will we send commands to computers in the future? When we finally evolve beyond keyboards, mice, touchscreens, and voice controls, what’s next? This month, Facebook hinted at how it’s thinking about the future of human-computer interactions. The company unveiled a concept for a wrist-worn wearable that can interpret the nerve impulses in the wearer’s arm to virtually mimic hand movements and finger taps. Also, we witnessed a debate about how facial recognition should be used in the AR glasses Facebook reportedly plans to release later this year.
For this episode, we are joined by WIRED editor-at-large Steven Levy, who has written extensively about Facebook for WIRED, and in his book about the company, Facebook: The Inside Story, which is now out in paperback. We discuss Facebook’s vision of future interfaces, possible applications for these wearable devices, and whether Facebook has earned the public trust necessary to tap into people’s brain signals.
Steven’s book is now available in paperback. Read Lauren’s story about the wrist wearable concept unveiled this week. Read our original news story on the Facebook Portal’s launch, as well as Adrienne So’s story about how she grew to love the device during the pandemic. BuzzFeed News reported on Facebook’s internal meeting about AR glasses and facial recognition in late February.
Steven recommends Tom Stoppard: A Life by Hermione Lee. Lauren recommends enabling the handwashing timer on your Apple Watch. Mike recommends the Showtime series City on a Hill; Season two starts on March 28.
Steven Levy can be found on Twitter @StevenLevy. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Also, If you buy one of the books we link to in these show notes, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. Learn more.
WIRED Brand Lab is a creative studio from the publisher of WIRED. The WIRED newsroom is not involved in the creation of Brand Lab content.
How to Listen
You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how:
If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Podcasts app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed.
More Great WIRED Stories