Facebook Acquires CTRL-Labs To Let You Control Digital Profiles With Mind

Mark Zuckerberg has lately been pretty vocal about how augmented reality would be the future of Facebook and following his beliefs, it is reported that Facebook has finally locked the deal with CTRL-Labs, in order to push the possibility of controlling your digital profile profile with minds.

Although there is no surety about what amount, in between $500 million to $1 billion, will Facebook pay to own it, this can however turn out to be what the world’s largest social media company might need.

CTRL-Labs is a four year old startup that has made its mark, all with the help of a bracelet and software. The process is primarily based on the bracelet that records neuron’s activity in the arm of a person, in order to figure out what the person is thinking about. Based on the signals provided, the built in software translates the neuron activity right on to the computer screens.

The New York based start-up has dozens of employees and have also raised $67 million as per Crunchbase which also includes investors like Spark Capital, Google’s GV, Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa Fund, and Founders Fund. Now considering the technology they are bringing, their acquisition with Facebook was just a matter of time as they will now work with Facebook’s Reality Labs team on AR and VR products.

The technology used by CTRL-Lab can in particular be very useful for augmented reality glasses, with whom people already desire of controlling computers, without having any keyboard in their hands or even moving their fingers for that matter. Their product was best explained by Thomas Reardon, chief executive officer of CTRL-Labs, at an industry conference last December who told that we focus on the intention to carry out the action and not movement so it's completely okay if your hands are back in your pocket.

This isn’t the first time that Facebook has dug deeper into augmented reality technology. In fact back in 2017, the company also announced “brain-computer interface” which was designed to let people convert their thoughts into actual text on the screen on the basis of monitoring signals that arise in the brain.

As CTRL-Labs plans to do a similar thing, Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s head of AR and virtual reality explained the working in an announcement by stating that the wristband will decode neural signals first and then translate them into a digital signal which the device would be able to understand. It will basically captures the intention of the user and hence if one wants to share a photo with a friend, they would do so with imperceptible movement or just by the intention of it.

This acquisition comes at a rather challenging time for both parties due to the fact how Facebook is already dealing with two separate U.S. antitrust investigations.This will also put the subsidiary under intense scrutiny from regulators as authorities feel that Facebook is always too big to have its influence over any company they do or plan to acquire.

However in response to that, a Facebook spokeswoman said that Facebook already plans to work closely with the regulators for any security measurements that are required to be taken before Facebook makes the technology mainstream and make it an integral part of its plans related to augmented reality experience in the near future. All in all, the aim would still be to improve the user experience as much as possible.

Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

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