Facebook’s Bosworth: CTRL Labs Tech Years, Not Decades, Away From Consumers


The first products to integrate Facebook-owned CTRL Labs’ AI finger-tracking tech are “years” away.

In another AMA on his Instagram page, Vice President of Augmented and Virtual Reality Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth said that the technology developed by CTRL Labs, a startup acquired by Facebook in 2019, isn’t decades away but instead more like years.

The full question was worded as ‘How far away is CTRL Labs tech from consumers – years or decades?’ In one story, Bosworth posted a photo pointing to the word ‘years’ in the question, but then provided a full video response in the following story. Here’s a transcription:

“It’s years away from hitting [consumers] in some form. I think the vision is probably closer to decade scale than year scale, but the initial impact, early work, is closer than people think.”

Before being acquired by Facebook in 2019, CTRL Labs was developing a wristband that could track the user’s fingers by reading electric signals inside their arm — a primitive version of a brain-computer interface (BCI). After the acquisition, Bosworth said he hoped it would help “build this kind of technology, at scale, and get it into consumer products faster.”

In Bosworth’s February Instagram AMA, he said that BCIs will take generations to reach high bandwidth. “Last year we acquired a company called CTRL Labs, and we are working on exactly that. We’ve been working with UCSF even before that. I think it’s gonna happen but it’s gonna take generations. First it’s gonna be one bit, then several bit, then high bandwidth.”

With this week’s new comments, it seems like beginnings of BCI technology will make its way into Facebook consumer products within the decade.

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