Researchers from the social media company built a prototype of a cast-like device that vibrates in patterns to match up with specific sound.
Inspired by Braille and Tadoma, a method of communication for the blind and and deaf, researchers were able to teach participants to feel four of the sounds that form the building blocks of language within three minutes. Within an hour and a half, participants could recognize 100 words, MIT Technology Review reported.
Researchers hope the technology can ultimately be applied for use in smart devices, helping convey messages through vibrations, rather than the crude notifications they are used for now.
The research will be presented in April at the CHI conference in Montreal.
Here's a video showing a version of the device: