September 24, 2019 / 12:13 AM / 24 days ago

Facebook to buy brain science start-up CTRL-labs

FILE PHOTO: A 3D-printed Facebook logo is displayed in front of binary digits in this illustration taken, March 18, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Monday it bought New York-based CTRL-labs, a start-up that is exploring ways for people to communicate with computers using brain signals, in a deal that CNBC said was valued at $1 billion.

Facebook Vice President of AR/VR Andrew Bosworth announced the deal in a Facebook post.

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

Facebook said it intends to use the neural interface technology of CTRL-labs in developing a wristband that connects to other devices intuitively.

“The vision for this work is a wristband that lets people control their devices as a natural extension of movement,” Bosworth said.

“We hope to build this kind of technology, at scale, and get it into consumer products faster,” he added.

Media reports said CTRL-labs is working with brain science and machine learning to create interfaces for people to control and manipulate computers by thinking. Its development-stage wrist-worn device uses sensors to track gestures and would act as an input device.

The deal is valued at about $1 billion, CNBC reported, citing a source familiar with the matter. cnb.cx/2mbg1bk

Facebook was not immediately available for comment on the deal value.

Reporting by Sathvik N in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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