Facebook buys startup building neural monitoring armband
Facebook is buying CTRL-labs, a NY-based startup building an armband that translates movement and the wearer’s neural impulses into digital input signals, a company spokesperson tells TechCrunch.
CTRL-labs raised $67 million according to Crunchbase. The startup’s investors include GV, Lux Capital, Amazon’s Alexa Fund, Spark Capital and Founders Fund, Matrix Partners, Breyer Capital, among others. Facebook didn’t disclose how much they paid for the startup, but we’re digging around.
Update: Bloomberg pegs the deal between $500 million and $1 billion. A source close to the matter tells TechCrunch the same.
The acquisition, which has not yet closed, will bring the startup into the company’s Facebook Reality Labs division. CTRL-labs’ CEO and co-founder Thomas Reardon, a veteran technologist whose accolades include founding the team at Microsoft that built Internet Explorer, will be joining Facebook, while CTRL-labs’ employees will have the option to do the same, we are told.
Facebook has talked a lot about working on a non-invasive brain input device that can make things like text entry possible just by thinking. So far, most of the company’s progress on that project appears to be taking the form of university research that they’ve funded. With this acquisition, the company appears to be working more closely with technology that could one day be productized.
“We know there are more natural, intuitive ways to interact with de