What’s the deal: Facebook Facebook, Inc. 329,13 +0,40 +0,12% acquired neural interface technology company CTRL-labs in a deal which some estimate is worth up to $1 billion.
The acquisition was confirmed on social media by both CTRL-labs and Facebook.
What next: The startup will be joining Facebook Reality Labs to “empower people with non-invasive neural interfaces at scale.”
According to Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s VP of AR/VR, the intention behind the purchase is making “a wristband that lets people control their devices as a natural extension of movement.”
How: CTRL-labs already develops neural interface products (and a platform) which allow users to interact with devices in a non-invasive, intuitive way. Earlier in 2019, it acquired patents of Myo. The latter is a gesture-control armband developed by Canadian wearables company Thalmic Labs (now North), backed by Amazon.
Reactions: Not everyone was thrilled about Facebook’s deal, however, mainly due to the company’s shoddy history of handling privacy matters. The purchase of a neural company gives it even more access to private data and increased control over users’ decisions and behavior.
As one science journalist exclaimed:
“I mean honestly who do y’all think you are. Don’t you own enough of our data already? Holy sh*t this is gross.”