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Facebook has acquired a start-up which is developing devices that can pick up electrical signals from the brain and transmit them to a computer.

CTRL-Labs has designed a wristband that can identify the signals the brain sends to the hand telling it to move, and decode them.

It could then transmit that command – for example, to press a button – to a computer or other device.

It also “captures your intention”, said Facebook VR president Andrew Bosworth.

“So you can share a photo with a friend using an imperceptible movement or just by, well, intending to,” he said in a post on his personal Facebook page.

Facebook has not confirmed a report by CNBC which claimed that the deal was worth between $500m and $1bn (£0.4bn and £0.8bn).

Mr Bosworth said he hoped the CTRL-Lab team would help Facebook to “build this kind of technology, at scale and get it into consumer products faster”.

There was a mixed response to the news.

‘A few years down the road’

“Facebook needs to inveigle itself into our lives less, not more,” tweeted tech commentator Azeem Azhar.

“I’m very curious to see what the response is from regulators and legislators here,” wrote Forrester analyst Fatemeh Khatibloo.