Facebook is Working On Letting People “Feel” Messages

Image Credit: mashable.com

The world today is an age of connection. Everywhere we go, we see people glued to their phones as if their lives depended on it. From phone calls, SMSes, and then the influx of various text messaging apps, we certainly have come a long way. Facebook is planning to take it a step further, by creating a device to let people “feel” messages.


What is it?

The device is called a “transcutaneous language communication system”, and it’s designed as an arm pad you’d wear on your forearm.

How does it work?

When connected to your Facebook account, incoming notifications are transformed into vibrations that are sent to the arm pad. Different vibrations will represent different words, so if you know the vibrations well enough, you won’t even need to look at your phone to find out what’s going on. Basically, it “transmits a tactile representation of spoken or written language to the arm” so users “receive messages without looking at their smart devices, and feel them through their skin”. A separate study, also by Facebook, found that people were able to remember 20 “words” after barely half an hour’s training.

Facebook's Messenger app displayed on a smartphone.
Image Credit: cnbc.com

Why is Facebook creating such a device?

A Facebook paper states that “it can be devastating to miss an important call, text, or notification from a loved one”, and they want users to never miss a notification. It is especially useful for when looking at your phone is socially unacceptable. For example, when you’re at the cinema, in a meeting, or in church. Furthermore, the device can be useful when keeping an eye on your phone isn’t the best idea, such as when you’re driving.

What do you think of this? Do you feel like we need to be connected to each other this much? More importantly, will you get this device if it’s successfully released? Let us know in the comments below!