Update: It seemed there was more to this story than met the eye, particularly as it relates to the similarities between the photo that Kutcher tweeted, and a photo taken by a certain “wearable tech expert”. It was also revealed that Kutcher is an investor in Interaxon.
There’s no secret that actor, Mila Kunis-dater and now tech investor Ashton Kutcher has taken an interest in startup innovation. After all, he ‘s already invested in the likes of Skype, Foursquare, Uber, Getaround, Airbnb and YPlan, primarily through A-Grade Investments, a firm with a reported $100 million to spend on startups.
Today the actor revealed that he’s also keen on a bit of Canadian wearable technology- the Muse headband, by Interaxon. He took a photo of his new Muse headband as well as his iPad featuring the Muse app, and wrote “Day 1 with @ChooseMuse. Excited to learn from this incredible technology”.
Day 1 with @ChooseMuse . Excited to learn from this incredible technology. http://t.co/XTd78ByMtx pic.twitter.com/KweXLy8ZJG
— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) July 22, 2014
Muse is well-known to Canadian techies. In June our reporter Tom Emrich reported that the wearable band had finally shipped to buyers, while in May VentureBeat called the product “the most important wearable of 2014“.
Muse itself is a semi-flexible and extremely comfortable adjustable headband. It fits around users’ ears and around their forehead. The device features seven EEG sensors, five around the forehead and two behind the ears. Once the headband is paired via Bluetooth to the user’s Android or iOS device, the Muse app, Calm, calibrates the device and then walks users through an exercise to help reduce stress.
Interaxon is the Toronto startup that makes the Muse. It launched in 2007 and nearly doubled its funding goal on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo in 2012, earning just over $280,000. Its big payday came in August of last year when the BetaKit team was covering the GROW conference in Vancouver. There CEO Ariel Garten announced that the company had raised $6 million in funding from Horizons Ventures, OMERS Ventures, A-Grade Investments (the fund put together by Ashton Kutcher, Guy Oseary, and Ron Burkle), ff Venture Capital, Felicis Ventures, Bridge Builders Collaborative and Harbor Pacific Capital.