Facebook moves into 'mind control' technology as it acquires brain-wristband company

Rob Waugh
Contributor
Facebook is moving into direct brain control (Getty)

If you wanted any reassurance you’re living in the future, here it is - Facebook just bought a start-up that plans to let people control computers with their minds.

The firm is New York-based CTRL-labs, which is exploring technology to allow people to control computers using brain signals, by harnessing the signals our nerves send to our limbs, via a wristband.

Some gadgets already use primitive brain scans to control computers, such as the game Mindball, which uses an EEG-type scannner.

The Facebook deal was valued at $1 billion (£801 million), according to CNBC.

Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s vice president of AR/VR, said: ‘The vision for this work is a wristband that lets people control their devices as a natural extension of movement.

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‘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. It captures your intention so you can share a photo with a friend using an imperceptible movement or just by, well, intending to.’

CTRL-labs will join Facebook Reality Labs team, Mr Bosworth said, without giving any financial details.

Its development-stage wrist-worn device uses sensors to track gestures and would act as an input device.

Bosworth said: ‘We know there are more natural, intuitive ways to interact with devices and technology. And we want to build them. It’s why we’ve agreed to acquire CTRL-labs.’