Wispr Raises $10M to Enable Thought-Controlled Computing
San Francisco-based Wispr is challenging the views of anyone who sees technology and nature as antithesis of each other. The company wants to build a “more natural way” for people to interact with the tech in their everyday lives, and it received $10 million in fresh capital to get started.
Wispr’s Seed II round is a combination of debt and equity capital from Neo, MVP Ventures, Triple Point Capital and others, bringing its total venture funding to $14.6 million. Its funding amid today’s economic downturn can be attributed to its mission of commercializing a product that falls within an entirely new market, according to a company release.
The deep tech company is working to create human-computer interfaces powered by deliberate thoughts, according to a company blog post. It’s building a personalized computing device that can be controlled solely by deliberate thoughts. Wispr is keeping the device’s form factor under wraps for now.
The device will be able to do everything today’s smartphones can do and then some, Tanay Kothari, Wispr’s co-founder and CEO, told Built In via email. Just as smartphones led to the creation of solutions like Uber and Waze, Wispr’s device aims to give rise to solutions that are currently inconceivable without it.
Wispr’s goal is to create a human-centered approach to interacting with tech, rather than tapping a piece of glass or performing gestures.
“We’re designing a way to interact with technology by tapping into the ways that humans most naturally interact with one another,” Kothari said in a statement. “We call these interfaces natural interfaces, which are non-invasive neural interfaces that read biosignals from your body, versus most other neural interfaces, which read signals from the brain.”
Electromyography sensors are one way to read these signals. The company referenced the electrocardiography (EKG) in Apple watches, a similar solution that detects electrical signals sent from the brain throughout the body.
Since Wispr is still in the early stages of designing its digital interface, it’s currently onboarding talent to expedite the process. The company has open roles with the majority spanning engineering. Other available positions are in product and management.
“The challenge with building any new technology is that you can get it to work with some effort on one person in a constrained lab setting. A lot of companies building cutting-edge technology fall into this trap with products that never see the light of day. This new round of funding lets us test our system with hundreds of people from varying demographics and ensure that it works reliably and intuitively,” Sahaj Garg, Wispr’s co-founder and CTO, said in a statement.
As it works to achieve its product engineering and design goals, the company’s foremost focus is ensuring its growing team won’t be impacted by today’s slowed economic state.
“Solving problems this challenging requires focus. My most important job is to make sure our team is unaffected by the macroeconomic conditions and doesn’t have to worry about their careers,” Kothari said in a statement. “We want to create grounds for people to do their best work and build something truly remarkable.”