Facebook acquires brain-machine computing startup

Last Updated: Tue, Sep 24, 2019 11:51 hrs
Brain Scan (Image Source: University of Texas San Antonio)

San Francisco: Facebook has acquired New York-based startup CTRL Labs which is building a wristband that lets people control their devices as a natural extension of movement.

In a Facebook post, Andrew "Boz" Bosworth, Vice President of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, said the company wants to build mind-reading technology at scale.

According to report, Facebook paid somewhere between $500 million-$1 billion to buy the startup.

"They will be joining our Facebook Reality Labs team where we hope to build this kind of technology, at scale, and get it into consumer products faster," Bosworth said on Monday.

Here's how the wristband works.

You have neurons in your spinal cord that send electrical signals to your hand muscles telling them to move in specific ways such as to click a mouse or press a button.

The wristband will decode those signals and translate them into a digital signal your device can understand, empowering you with control over your digital life.

It captures your intention so you can share a photo with a friend using an imperceptible movement or just by, well, intending to.

"Technology like this has the potential to open up new creative possibilities and reimagine 19th century inventions in a 21st century world," said Bosworth.

Led by Chief Scientist Michael Abrash, Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) brings together an R&D team to build the future of connection within virtual and augmented reality.

Located primarily in Redmond, Washington, the team is developing technologies needed to enable breakthrough AR glasses and VR headsets, including optics and displays, computer vision, audio, graphics, brain-computer interface and haptic interaction.