Facebook has acquired CTRL-Labs, a New York-based startup that is developing mind-reading technology.
The deal will help Facebook move forward with its vision of being able to discern human thoughts by wearing a wristband, according to a statement by Facebook hardware executive Andrew Bosworth.
Facebook is buying the three-year-old startup for close to $1 billion, making it one of the social network’s larger purchases to date, according to two people familiar with the matter. It couldn’t be learned what combination of cash or stock made up the deal. CTRL-Labs has raised $67 million to date from investors that include Alphabet venture capital arm GV, Lux Capital, Amazon’s Alexa Fund, and Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield. The startup has roughly 70 employees, according to LinkedIn.
Facebook first demonstrated that it was developing mind-reading technology in 2017, a project that has continued despite turmoil in the company’s hardware group and a barrage of larger privacy scandals. Facebook’s last big purchase of a hardware company was the roughly $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR in 2014. The social network is currently developing eyewear technology that could one day be used in combination with mind-reading tech.