The global technology giant, Snap, has acquired NextMind, a Paris-based neurotech startup known for creating a headband that lets the wearer control aspects of a computer with their thoughts. For instance, it could enable you to aim a gun in a video game or unlock your phone screen just by thinking about it.
Nevertheless, the idea behind the acquisition should be to incorporate the technology into Snap’s Spectacles AR glasses. The financials of the acquisition haven’t been disclosed, but NextMind had raised about $4.5 million in funding to date, with the most recent valuation of roughly $13 million.
Two years ago, NextMind had introduced a headband developer kit priced at $400. Snap will discontinue the product, but its team of roughly 20 employees will continue to work in France for Snap Lab, the company’s hardware division overseeing the development of Spectacles, an upcoming camera drone, and a host of other unreleased gadgets.
The acquisition follows a string of AR hardware-related deals, including Snap’s biggest-ever purchase of AR display-maker WaveOptics last year for $500 million. In January, it had also acquired Compound Photonics, another display tech company.
However, Snap is not the only large tech company looking to explore brain-computer interfaces. Elon Musk’s Neuralink is planning to implant a device in the human brain literally and is reportedly getting ready for clinical trials. Valve is collaborating with OpenBCI, an open-source brain interface project. Before its rebranding to Meta, Facebook had acquired CTRL-Labs, the developer of an armband that aims to measure electrical activity in muscles to transmit that for controlling computers, for roughly $1 billion.
NextMind’s headband offers a non-invasive method for measuring activity in the brain through sensors on the head supported by machine learning.
Follow us on LinkedIn
Read other Articles