Snap acquires NextMind as it plans to incorporate the company's brain-computer interface technology into future versions of the Spectacles smart glasses.
Snap, the tech giant that owns Snapchat, announced it has acquired Paris-based neurotech company NextMind which is best known for its so-called "mind-reading" headband – the device that uses a non-invasive brain-computer interface (BCI) technology to enable easier hands-free interaction across PC, AR/VR wearables, and headsets.
Snap hasn't disclosed the financial terms of the deal only saying that the team will keep operating out of Paris. As reported by The Verge, NextMind will discontinue the production of BCI.
NextMind was founded in 2017 by a team of both neuroscientists and hardware engineers. The company’s technology utilizes a wearable headband with a built-in electroencephalogram to monitor neural activity in the cortex to understand the user's intent while interacting with the interface. As Snap noted that with the help of this technology, users are able "to push a virtual button simply by focusing on it".
NextMind founder and CEO Sid Kouider explained the technology this way: "We use your top-down attention as a controller. So when you focalize differentially toward something, you then generate an [intention] of doing so. We don’t decode the intention per se, but we decode the output of the intention."
In a blog post, Snap shared that NextMind will "help drive long-term augmented reality research efforts within Snap Lab". The company also noted that its plans include exploring the possibility to incorporate NextMind's technology into future versions of the company's Spectacles AR glasses.
You can learn more about the acquisition in Snap's blog post here. Also, don't forget to join our new Reddit page, our new Telegram channel, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, where we are sharing breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.