December 19, 2019 – Neurotechnology company, Neurable, has announced a USD $6 million Series A round of funding led by M Ventures, with the participation of Innospark Ventures and existing investors such as Loup Ventures and Point Judith Capital.
Neurable stated that the financing will allow the company to develop its new product, which will be a pair of brain-sensing consumer headphones that measure cognitive state and provide hands-free control for mobile devices. As a result, Neurable anticipates that funding will allow the company to evolve past virtual reality (VR) applications and create “everyday” brain-computer interfaces (BCIs): accessible, intuitive, and user-friendly products that will bring the benefits of neurotechnology to the masses – with headphones obviously being the first of these everyday BCIs.
Neurable’s first breakthrough technology allowed users to control VR with their mind. The company has since co-developed a VR game with Red Bull that debuted at Red Bull’s Lollapalooza outpost in August 2019, created new EEG (electroencephalography) interpretation tools, and is now deploying its software tools in VR simulation training applications. With this funding round, Neurable will expand its focus from VR applications to consumer devices.
The company’s transition from VR to broader applications is a natural one, according to Neurable CEO Dr. Ramses Alcaide, who said: “We are applying many of the same industry-leading machine learning techniques from our VR-based applications to our headphone prototypes.” He added, “By making a brain-computer interface in the form of headphones, we will be able to provide the benefits of Neurable’s technology to many more people.”
The headphones will bring the benefits of BCIs to the masses in a form factor that people wear regularly. “A pair of headphones is the ideal brain-sensing wearable because it is a consumer electronics device that millions of people already wear on their heads every day,” said Jamie Alders, Vice President of Product, who joined Neurable in 2018 and has more than 10 years of experience in engineering and product management at Bose. “Compared to other potential head-worn electronics form factors, headphones benefit from mature sales channels, seasoned supply chain, and proven customer value.”
Alexander Hoffmann, Principal at M Ventures, commented: “Neurable has the potential to become the user interface of the future, enabling more seamless communication with devices, hands-free and voice-free, disrupting the way we interact with consumer electronics.” Hoffmann added, “Together with exciting use cases in digital medicine and the lab of the future, we believe that Neurable’s future product portfolio is strongly aligned with the digital ambitions of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. In addition, we see outstanding synergy potential with other tech companies in M Ventures’ portfolio. We are excited to lead the Series A round and engage on an exciting journey to advance brain computer interfaces.”
Neurable’s stated mission is to make technology universally accessible, intuitive, and empowering through the advanced application of neurotechnology. The company highlights that current technology has limits: in that it requires some form of physical input to convert human intent into action. For example, phones have touch screens, computers have keyboards and mice, and newer devices handle complex queries with voice control — However, with each evolution, technology grows more intuitive.
Dr. Alcaide describes the Neurable’s vision: “Brain-computer interfaces will enable a world where you will communicate beyond the limits of today’s computer interfaces. For example, users will be able to send a text by thinking — instead of typing — and those texts will carry an emotional texture beyond the words of the message alone.”
Neurable gave no further information on its headphone product, other than the fact that it can now begin development. The company is also currently recruiting across all departments, with an emphasis on technical and scientific roles. Visit neurable.com/careers for more information.
Image credit: Neurable
About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.