Cognixion®, a neural interface startup, raised $12 million in seed funding to develop AI-powered neural interfaces that unlock speech and smart home controls for the hundreds of millions of people worldwide with communication and physical disabilities. The funding will help Cognixion develop new adaptive interfaces that make the Assisted Reality technology easier to use by everyone. Prime Movers Lab led the round with co-investors Northwell Health, Amazon Alexa Fund and Volta Circle.
Cognixion’s patented non-invasive, wireless brain-computer interface with an integrated augmented reality display, Cognixion ONE, detects the signals from the user’s brainwaves associated with visual fixation on interactive objects and enables hands-free, voice-free control of AR/XR applications in the headset. Cognixion ONE is a closed-loop device that stimulates the visual cortex within the brain and reads its activity while sending control signals back to the AR application. It also integrates with leading research software.
In addition to Cognixion ONE, the company is building advanced machine learning algorithms and an AI-powered language system, which adapts to each user’s unique communication style, making it more efficient at recognizing and anticipating what they intend to communicate. Equally exciting, a Cognixion headset user will be able to interface directly with Amazon Alexa from anywhere, accessing the smart assistant’s functions within the headset to interact with their environment and control smart devices, or access news, music, information and more.
“Cognixion is solving usability and accessibility issues for AR/XR and enabling new capabilities for people with disabilities today,” says Andreas Forsland, Cognixion Founder and CEO, “And in the near future, we see our innovations becoming a fundamental part of the metaverse, as a biological interface plus highly adaptive algorithms that unlock new use cases for XR.”
“We believe that technology should be inclusive and universally accessible to every individual, and everyone deserves a solution that can adapt to their needs – and that it’s possible to build ONE solution that can be personalized for communication, information access, interacting with smart devices, and everything else life has to offer,” Andreas Forsland said. “Prime Movers Lab has the same focus around making augmentative human capabilities a reality. Unlike most VCs, Prime Movers Lab is an extension of our team. In addition to the funding that they are providing, they are already helping us with hiring, marketing, government relations and building a pipeline of prospective customers.”
“Cognixion has created a breakthrough human-machine interface that accelerates and enriches human communication and connection,” Prime Movers Lab General Partner, Amy Kruse said. “You would think that Cognixion ONE is something out of science fiction if it didn’t already exist. We believe that it will be a fundamentally life-changing and integral blend of an AI software platform with hardware to assist people of all ages who live with speech and motor disabilities, including Cerebral Palsy, Brainstem Stroke, ALS and many other conditions. Further we see the broader expansion of this platform to extend to all users to enrich life experiences, including: gaming, apps, the metaverse, and beyond. ”
“Cognixion ONE’s combination of visual stimulation and EEG reading could profoundly change the means of communication for patients with physical and neurological impairments,” said Dr. Souhel Najjar, SVP and Executive Director of the Neurology Service Line at Northwell Health. “We look forward to collaborating with the Cognixion team as they develop this technology and assess its efficacy in addressing this significant challenge.”
“Cognixion’s technology has the potential to revolutionize the way patients with impairments can communicate in a variety of settings. We believe Northwell’s investment and expertise will support Cognixion’s expansion into health care provider markets,” said Rich Mulry, President and CEO of Northwell Holdings & Ventures.