Mystery Man Gives Mind-Reading Tech More Cash Than Facebook, Google Combined
2011-07-15 0:00

By Kit Eaton | FastCompany.com



The company specializes in non-invasive, wireless brain-recording tech. And its first round of funding is bigger than Googles and Facebooks first-round investments combined. Heres why.


Imagine the money that could be made by a drug company that accurately predicted and treated the onset of Alzheimers before any symptoms surfaced. That may give us an idea why NeuroVigil, a company specializing in non-invasive, wireless brain-recording tech, just got a cash injection that puts it at a valuation "twice the combined seed valuations of Googles and Facebooks first rounds," according to a company announcement.

Facebooks Series A funding in May 2005 was at $12.7 million, valuing the firm at $98 million. Some figure put the series Series A funding of Google, on a $25 million co-investment from Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins, at $75 million in late 1999. Add those valuations. Double em, and it would seem NeuroVigil got tens of millions in early cash, enough for a valuation of roughly $250 million.

Most of it came from one moneybags, an "anonymous American industrialist and technology visionary," NeuroVigil says. There were other participants dotted across the U.S. Bill Gates, whos loaded and philanthropic, and Steve Jobs, whos loaded and focused on health (his own, especially), may have an interest in investing in clever medical technology.

NeuroVigil describes itself as a neurotechnology company centered on a "fundamentally new way to assess brain activity, non-invasively, and rapidly, using a single channel of electroencephalogram."


NeuroVigils key product at the moment is the iBrain, a slim device in a flexible head-cap thats designed to be worn for continuous EEG monitoring of a patients brain function--mainly during sleep. Its non-invasive, and replaces older technology that could only access these kind of brain functions via critically implanted electrodes actually on the brain itself. The idea is, first, to record how brain function changes over time, perhaps as a particular combination of drugs is administered or to help diagnose particular brain pathologies--such as epilepsy.

iBrain promises to open a huge pipeline of data with its powerful but simple brain-reading tech, which is gaining traction thanks to technological advances. But the other half of the potentailly lucrative equation is the ability to analyze the trove of data coming from iBrain. And thats where NeuroVigils SPEARS algorithm enters the picture. Not only is the company simplifying collection of brain data with a device that can be relatively comfortably worn during all sorts of tasks--sleeping, driving, watching advertising--but the combination of iBrain and SPEARS multiplies the efficiency of data analysis. Heres NeuroVigil on that:

Clinical EEG data acquisition and interpretation is currently cumbersome, time consuming, and error prone. NeuroVigils technologic advance dramatically improves the quality and lowers the costs of sleep testing. Our technology not only automates current manual tasks, but also more than quadruples the amount of useful information obtained from current EEG data, which leads to neural signatures, or correlates of important disease states, that are useful in early detection and diagnosis of important sleep-related medical conditions as well as diseases of the Central Nervous System, such as Alzheimers, Schizophrenia, Parkinsons, etc. The SPEARS algorithm has been proven, using human data, to perform better than current clinical methods at interpreting a nights worth of EEG data, and performs this task that requires 30-60 minutes for an experienced human scorer in seconds.


So what will all these tens of millions of dollars of cash let NeuroVigil do? Lots of R&D and product-refining design of course. Its possible NeuroSky will concentrate its efforts on honing the size and reliability of the iBrain to make it a standard tool in hospitals around the globe.

Its also possible it could develop its technology into non-medicinal uses such as human-computer interfaces--in an earlier announcement, NeuroVigil noted, "We plan to make these kinds of devices available to the transportation industry, biofeedback, and defense. Applications regarding pandemics and bioterrorism are being considered but cannot be shared in this format." And theres even a popular line of kids toys that use an essentially similar technique, powered by NeuroSky sensors--themselves destined for future uses as games console controllers or even input devices for computers.

Another trove of potential cash could come from neuromarketers, currently measuring brain activity around decision-making about everything from what soup to buy, to what movie to see, to which candidate to vote for.

Tens of millions buys a lot of novel-use testing.

Article from: fastcompany.com





Video from: YouTube.com


The Present & Future of Mind-Reading Technology by BadKitty





Related Articles
Secret of NIMH? Memory Implant Boosts Brain Function in Rats
Images capture moment brain goes unconscious (Video)
Religion makes your brain atrophy?
Brains of Buddhist monks scanned in meditation study
Your Brain May Sleep Without You (Video)
Army Wants Its Computers Acting Like Human Brains
Deep brain stimulation promoted as groundbreaking neurological treatment
Zombies in Your Head, Not Mind, Control Daily Life
"Gender-Neutral" Pre-School in Sweden Accused of Mind Control
Could Conjoined Twins Share a Mind?
Homeland security deploys mind-reading hardware
Scientists warn that drugs of the future will be designed specifically to control the human mind
Girlfriend of pharmaceutical exec found dead in Mansions Courtyard
Four people murdered in "Research Triangle Park": RTP houses global Pharma, Tech, Banking, R&D firms


Latest News from our Front Page

Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female
2015-04-25 4:52
Shieldmaidens are not a myth! A recent archaeological discovery has shattered the stereotype of exclusively male Viking warriors sailing out to war while their long-suffering wives wait at home with baby Vikings. (We knew it! We always knew it.) Plus, some other findings are challenging that whole “rape and pillage” thing, too. Researchers at the University of Western Australia decided ...
Off Your Knees, Germany! Ernst Zundel 1983 - 2003
2015-04-25 1:15
For more information on the holocaust, how the war was forced upon Germany, and the REAL victims of the second world war see: http://gblt.webs.com/Real_Holocaust.htm http://web.archive.org/web/20130806074314/http://www.666blacksun.org/ http://www.zundelsite.org/
IRS Drops Attack For Six Years – No Evidence of Jurisdiction
2015-04-24 20:29
A big congrats to a friend I’ve been working with for several years, he stood up to the predators commonly called the “IRS” and they dropped their attack. Thanks also for providing me with the proof below. The criminals called the “IRS” initiated an attack claiming my friend was required to file six tax returns, or explain how he made ...
Into Eternity - Finland's 100,000 Year Massive Underground Spent Nuclear Fuel Program
2015-04-24 20:49
Into Eternity is a documentary about a deep geological repository for nuclear waste. The concept of long-term underground storage for radioactive waste has been explored since the 1950s. The inner part of the Russian doll-like storage canisters is to be composed of copper. Hence in the case of Onkalo it is tightly linked to experiments on copper corrosion in running ...
SPLC Accuses Oath Keepers of Inciting “Armed Confrontation” Over Sugar Pine Mine
2015-04-24 20:22
The Southern Poverty Law Center has accused Oath Keepers of inciting an armed confrontation with BLM authorities over the Sugar Pine Mine dispute in Oregon, despite the fact that the organization has explicitly stated that it is not promoting armed confrontation with the feds. In an article provocatively posted on the organization’s ‘Hatewatch’ section entitled Oath Keepers Descend Upon Oregon with ...
More News »