Allowing humans to control computers and devices with only their thoughts is Facebook's next target as it sets to buy CTRL-labs, a tech startup that develops wristbands that interpret neuron activity into digital commands.

CTRL-labs is based in New York and was founded in 2015 by Timothy Machado and neuroscientists Patrick Kaifosh and Thomas Reardon. Its investors include GV, Lux Capital, Matrix Partners, Breyer Capital, Spark Capital, Amazon Alexa Fund and others.

Andrew Bosworth, Facebook's augmented and virtual-reality vice president, said in a post that, "the vision for this work is a wristband that lets people control their devices as a natural extension of movement." The technology works by sending electrical signals from the spinal cord to the hand muscles, which are then translated to a digital action on a device.

The whole concept of controlling devices with only thoughts is non-invasive, but it does come with an oversized design that may not be a perfect complement to everyday fashion.

Facebook's deal, for an undisclosed value but is estimated to be within $500 million to $1 billion, will land CTRL-labs in their AR/VR division.  

The social media giant has long been pursuing augmented reality when it acquired Oculus V.R. back in 2014. This new agreement to purchase CTRL-labs will put the wristband technology along with the AR glasses in the pipeline.

Acquisitions like this will put Facebook in a lot of scrutiny from regulators who question if the social network company is getting or is already too big and powerful. Along with Google, Facebook is currently facing anti-trust investigations with even its co-founder Chris Hugh calling for a breakup in May. Scrutiny over Facebook increased since last year due to the Cambridge Analytica Scandal in early 2018 where Mark Zuckerberg testified in court and got slapped with a $5 billion fine.

There are also deterrents to Facebook's digital currency, Libra, as three firms are reportedly backing out of the deal because of the pressure from regulators. The EU called for an anti-trust investigation on the company as well, and U.S. regulators are calling for compliance on crypto rules in the country.

Facebook said it has reviewed "millions" of apps on its platform as part of a privacy review Facebook said it has reviewed "millions" of apps on its platform as part of a privacy review Photo: AFP / LOIC VENANCE