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Facebook is in the final stages of acquiring a New York based startup called CTRL Labs which was developing an armband which tracks the user’s fingers by reading electrical signals inside their arm.

It works by detecting electrical signals passing through the user’s wrist to the fingers. Based on how the signal changes passing through the tendons and muscles of the arm their position can be determined. Machine learning is used to convert these position changes into finger poses.

The technology is very similar to what’s described in a patent application filed by Facebook back in February. It’s possible that the CTRL Labs team were able to solve problems that Facebook’s team wasn’t, or that Facebook wanted to combine their efforts. It’s also possible that the startup held intellectual property that Facebook would need to commercialize this technology.

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