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Can Facebook's Dive Into Mind-Reading Tech Boost Its Stock?

Zacks Equity Research

Facebook, Inc. FB recently agreed to acquire a technology startup called CTRL-Labs, which is developing a mind-reading technology. This move by the social media giant indicates its strong ambition to conquer the world of augmented reality (AR) technology, which isn’t unknown.

The deal cost the world’s largest social media network somewhere between $500 million and $1 billion, Bloomberg reported. CTRL-Labs is a four-year-old startup known for technology that could soon allow users to control a computer with their minds.

In fact, the company uses a bracelet that could measure neuron activity in a user’s arm and translate that activity into movement on a digital interface. And the result is that one could control a computer without moving. According to Thomas Reardon, chief executive officer of CTRL-Labs, “It’s the intention [to move], not the movement.”

Facebook’s Inclination Toward AR-VR Products

CTRL-Labs’ technology could be an integral part of a mechanism that allows one to control their movements in augmented reality. In fact, this acquisition marks Facebook’s second such purchase toward developing futuristic technology.

Back in 2014, Facebook had paid $2 billion to acquire Oculus, a virtual reality (VR) company. It is interesting to note that CTRL-Labs’ employees will be part of Facebook’s Reality Labs team, which works on augmented reality and virtual reality products.

It has also been noted that a major reason behind Facebook acquiring such startups is that the company doesn’t have or make this technology at present, but would like to include it in its future endeavors. After all, Facebook is facing tough competition from Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN and Alphabet Inc. GOOGL, both of whom are developing augmented reality products.

In fact, Facebook is already working toward developing its own AR glasses. The company has partnered with Luxottica (maker of Ray-Ban glasses), per a CNBC report. These glasses could reach consumers as early as by 2023.

What’s more, Facebook could be gearing up to use CTRL-Labs’ technology in its AR glasses. The company is also developing an AI voice assistant to assist users with the glasses. The glasses could replace smartphones, letting users attend calls, show information on a small display and live-stream their view to their Facebook connections.

Needless to say, Facebook’s keenness toward developing futuristic products could garner a strong user base seeking to experience the mind-reading technology. This could very well boost the company’s shares in the near future. Facebook carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The company’s stock price has outperformed the Zacks Internet - Services industry on a year-to-date basis (+37.2% vs -0.8%). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has risen 1.4% over the past 60 days.

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