Armband Gesture Controller Unleashes Your Inner Superpower

Available for sale later this year, the Myo interprets muscle movements in the forearm and transmits them wirelessly to software-enabled devices that can understand them as commands.

What's the Latest Development?

Ontario-based startup Thalmic Labs expects to send the first generation of its armband gesture control device to market later this year at a price of $149. The Myo is worn around the forearm, and translates muscle movements into gestures that can be transmitted wirelessly to devices that can interpret them as commands. Currently the device can recognize about 20 gestures, including those commonly used on touchscreens such as swipes and taps, and can be used to control not only computers but gadgets such as flying drones.

What's the Big Idea?

The Myo could potentially be the first truly portable gesture control device, which distinguishes it from similar devices that require additional equipment such as wires or cameras. Thalmic is already working on ways to integrate the technology with augmented-reality devices like Google Glass. Trevor Blackwell of Y Combinator, one of the funding organizations behind the project, says, "I think so far we've only thought of around 1 per cent of its potential applications." Thalmic Labs co-founder Stephen Lake concurs: "We're interested in seeing just how closely we can integrate technology into our daily lives and give people superpowers, if you like." 

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