Ctrl-labs: Controlling your mouse pointer with your mind may sound like a science fiction scenario, but Ctrl-labs, a New York-based startup, is trying to make it happen.
In June, The company It raised $ 28 million from companies such as Lux Capitals and GV (formerly Google Ventures), and Alphabet's venture capital group (Google's parent company).
What convinced the technology giants to fund the new company was the idea and, of course, the executives who make up the scientific team.
Thomas Reardon, the founder and CEO of Ctrl-labs is a MIT graduate in mathematics and pioneered a Microsoft project for Internet Explorer. A few years later, he enrolled at Columbia University, where he studied neuroscience and managed to get his doctorate.
2015, Reardon, along with fellow neuroscientists Patrick Kaifosh and Tim Machado, created Ctrl-labs with a specific mission:
To answer the bigger questions in the field of computer science, neuroscience and design.
Immediately afterwards the team built its first product: an armband that reads the signals that pass through the brain in hand.
The armband with small gold-plated circuit boards is made to adhere tightly to the skin, although it is still in very early stages. A cable connects contacts to a Raspberry Pi, which in turn is wirelessly connected to a PC running Ctrl-Labs software.
The armband uses differential electromyography (EMG) (first seen by 1666 by the Italian physician Francesco Redi) to turn the brain into action.
How does that work?
Measuring the changes in electrical potential caused by the pulses moving from the brain muscles to the hands through the motor neurons. This information-rich pathway in the nervous system consists of two parts: the upper motor neurons that are directly connected to the center of the brain and the lower ones that correspond to the muscle fibers. Neurotransmitters run the length of this long nerve pathway and convert or remove individual muscle fibers. If you did not understand, talk about the organic equivalent of one and zero.
The armband is quite sensitive:
"It works like an antenna and so it is prone to interference."
Data from 16 arrays of the armband are processed by Ctrl-labs software, which with the help of a mechanical learning algorithm is trained using Google's TensorFlow to distinguish the individual pulses of each nerve.
Below you can see revolutionary technology in action in the two videos released by VB: