When you meet startup founder Tomás Vega, you won’t get too far into the conversation before he tells you that he wants to become a Cyborg!
What Tomás is doing is crazy. The good type of crazy. The break-boundaries-of-science type of crazy. The type of crazy Linda Rottenberg, founder of Endeavor, talks about in her book Crazy is a Compliment.
Tomás is so far on the frontier of deep tech that the startup he founded is called Augmental Tech. Augmental Tech is building “invisible interfaces for hands-free human-computer interaction.”
Take time to let that sentence sink in.
For a visual of how the product may work, look no further than the company’s logo . . . Augumental Tech is making a mouth mouse: a smart, biocompatible teeth retainer that allows people to control computers using tongue, jaw, and other mouth gestures.
This would all be crazy if it wasn’t also legitimate. Augmental Tech is the real deal. Recently, that startup was recognized by Startup Pill as one of the 24 Human Computer Interaction Startups to watch in 2021, and one of the 10 Quality Embedded Systems Startups to look out for in 2021.
“Augmental Tech develops technology that integrates with the human body to enable access to information without the use of hands. The company is actively developing discreet hands-free interfaces for people with both situational and severe motor impairment. They want to help others to overcome the physical and sensory limitations of the body and see the mouth as unexplored real-estate for human-computer interaction”Startup Pill
If someone can pull this off, it is Tomás. His interest in becoming a Cyborg and his deep tech expertise give Augmental Tech perfect startup-founder fit.
After going to primary and high school in Lima, Peru, Tomás moved to the U.S. where he earned B.A. degrees in Computer Science and Cognitive Science from UC Berkeley and then an M.S. in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT with a specialization in “Human-Computer Interaction for Human Augmentation.” He worked at Neuralink and Apple and recently spent two years as a Graduate Student Researcher at the MIT Media Lab, one of the top research laboratories in the U.S.
So, next time I question whether Peruvian startup founders have sufficient tech know-how or are crazy enough to build world-class startups, I am going to remind myself of Tomás.