Facebook has announced the acquisition of CTRL-labs, a tech start-up which specializes in the mind-controlling of machines. The acquisition was announced by Andrew Bosworth, Vice President of augmented and virtual reality at Facebook.
The New York-based start–up reportedly joined a division of Facebook called the Facebook Reality Labs. The deal entails using the start-up’s specialisation to allow humans to control computers, by using their brains to build a Facebook wristband that lets people control their devices.
“We know there are more natural, intuitive ways to interact with devices and technology, and we want to build them. The vision for this work is a wristband that lets people control their devices as a natural extension of movement,” Bosworth said in a post.
Bosworth explained that the wristband would decode electrical impulses such as those sent to hand muscles, telling them to move certain ways, by clicking a computer mouse or pressing a button.
He noted that the wristband could capture a user’s intention just by using a particular movement.
Although Facebook did not disclose financial terms of the deal to buy CTRL-labs, however, reports have it that it paid more than $500 million to acquire the start-up.
What you should know: Facebook has been working on brain-computing technology since 2016, in which a lab was launched to boost the company’s efforts in developing consumer hardware products. The company provided an update on its brain-computing efforts in July, saying that research conducted with the University of California San Francisco showed promising progress, but was still years away from commercialization.
The deal came at a time where Facebook still faces antitrust investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. The commission is reportedly looking into whether the company facilitated its acquisitions in an effort to stifle competition as reported by Nairametrics.
About CTRL-labs: CTRL-labs was founded in 2015 by Thomas Reardon and Patrick Kaifosh. CTRL-labs has raised $28 million seed funding in the past from Alphabet’s GV and Amazon’s Alexa Fund.