Snap buys French NextMind Startup

Updated: Mar 28

Snapchat Buys Tech That Could Let You Take Photos With Your Mind

recent plugin announced the the acquisition of NextMind, a Paris-based startup developing brain computing interfaces (BCIs) that allow users to control smart devices and computing systems with their minds. The NextMind team will join Snap Labs to develop the next generation of devices augmented reality, which will allow users to interact with virtual objects and control them using their brain.

Snap Inc., the company behind Snapchat, has purchased brain-computer interface startup NextMind whose technology could be used to directly control augmented reality (AR) tools just with thought, like the Spectacles or forthcoming camera drone.

NextMind is a France-based startup that developed a small, head-mounted sensor that uses non-invasive EEG technology to detect electrical signals from the brain and decode them into executable commands. This type of technology would be particularly beneficial to a company like Snap as it develops its augmented reality peripherals. The details of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2017, NextMind has 19 employees and has raised roughly $4.5 million at a nearly $13 million valuation, according to PitchBook data. The company designs hardware that reads electronic signals from the brain to control images on a computer.

The acquisition feeds into Snap’s broader AR ambitions to overlay the world with digital objects. In addition to Spectacles and its Snapchat camera app, the company recently launched a tool to let creators attach AR experiences to physical locations and has used an augmented reality feature to let people virtually try on clothes.