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  • Prior to joining Snap, NextMind developed brain computer interface (BCI) technology to allow for greater hands-free interactivity with devices.
  • BCI technology monitors neural activity to understand a user’s intentions and allows them to control a device using their thoughts.
  • NextMind’s non-invasive BCI does not read thoughts or send signals towards the brain, relying on sensors and machine learning to measure brain activity rather than implants.

Snap, the company behind popular social media app Snapchat, announced on Wednesday its acquisition (at an undisclosed amount) of Paris-based neurotech startup company NextMind. The company’s roughly 20 employees will remain in France while working for Snap Labs, the hardware division of Snap responsible for gadgets such as Spectacles, The Verge reports.

Prior to joining Snap, NextMind developed brain computer interface (BCI) technology to allow for greater hands-free interactivity with devices. The BCI technology monitors neural activity to understand a user’s intent and objectives when using a device, essentially allowing an individual to control a device using their thoughts.

Another notable project in the neural-device space is Elon Musk’s Neuralink, an electronic chip that individuals can implant in their brain to send & receive information with devices using thoughts. NextMind is a non-invasive BCI which does not read thoughts or send signals towards the brain, relying on sensors and machine learning to measure brain activity rather than a surgically implanted computer chip.

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NextMind founder and CEO Sid Kouider explained in a 2020 interview with VentureBeat, “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.”