Facebook’s latest purchase is like something from the future. They recently purchased tech startup CTRL-Labs which has developed a wristband that translates neuron activity to a computer – a.k.a. reading minds.
“CTRL-Labs’s technology is an innovative input that Facebook hopes will be used to significantly improve the upcoming Facebook AR/VR experiences a few years down the road to fundamentally improve the user experience,” says a Facebook rep.
Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s VP of Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality, shared how the company places to use the brain-machine interface technology.
“The vision for this work is a wristband that lets people control their devices as a natural extension of movement. Here’s how it’ll work: 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.”
The technology is still in its early stages with the startup only showing developers a preview of the product. This exciting technology could be used to power virtual reality products such as Oculus Rift, which currently uses hand controllers to function. A brain-machine interface could streamline the VR experience by making thoughts directly function computer commands.
Other big tech companies who have invested in the startup include Amazon’s Alexa Fund, Google’s GV, and Spark Capital.
Facebook has yet to comment on how much they spent to acquire the startup, but it has been reported to be anywhere from $500 million to $1 billion.