Flip between slides with a flick of your wrist, or clench your fist to close a window, all’s that possible with the Myo Armband. It senses your forearm muscle movements to provide computer input. Thalmic Labs, the company behind the gesture control armband, has come a long way in the development and the Myo will soon be available for order via Amazon.
Myo is a gesture controller designed to track hand motion, among other things, that supports a wide range of applications from gaming and typical UI navigation, to remote control of devices like the Ollie and flying drones. Or just use it as a mouse to control your computer.
- Eight proprietary EMG muscle activity sensors
- Nine-axis IMU containing three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer, and three-axis magnetometer
- ARM Cortex M4 processor
- Micro-USB charging
- Built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery
- Haptic feedback
It reminds me of the Leap Motion – which tracks hand gestures and motion via imaging sensors.
While checking out some of the capabilities of the Myo (there are many), the following demo was impressive – using the Myo for robotics control, in this case, the Ollie. I was impressed by the sensitivity of the controller, and how it translates to minor changes in motion for the Ollie (3:45 mark).
Another impressive demo was the combination of the Myo with a Parrot drone.
Furthermore, the Myo communicates via Bluetooth, so no tangled wires to deal with. It does look rather bulky on the wrist though, and apparently it comes in one size, so Asians with small forearms might have to use the provided extra clips.
It is priced at $199, which is on the expensive end, especially for a gadget that’s really more gimmicks than function for now. It is positive to note that there are already many setups for popular apps like Powerpoint, Netflix, so you can live out your geeky dreams of controlling your apps with gestures. I think it is still too early before the technology becomes more common. This is a definite conversation starter, and will be bound to impress, but novelty may run out after 15 minutes and there’s not much left to do. There’s also a strong push for VR in 2015 and that could work to Thalmic’s advantage. Perhaps, if Myo could tie up with a cool VR game and integrate the use of it as an immersive gadget, that could really help generate adoption.
Interested folks can pre-order the Myo with Amazon. It does not have international shipping though, so you would need to use a forwarder like Borderlinx or VPost.