Myo Review

August 13, 2014 1:05 PM

myo-armband-1Imagine if there was a device that could create a physical bridge between the digital world and the physical. Now, to add to this image, a small device that can discretely be slipped onto your forearm and using a multitude of hand gestures and arm motions, control your entire digital experience. This sounds like something expected in a science fiction novel but this is reality. A company in Canada have developed an armband that is able to detect the electrical impulses in muscles to determine the gesture you are generating and then accomplish a desired result on screen.

The Myo, developed by Thalmic Labs has been relatively unheard of in mainstream media for some time now. The developers have spent a lot of time developing this incredible device for general usage and currently have shipped developers’ kits to those skilled enough to code and develop new applications. There are many incredible applications of this product, from military to commercial and domestic. Already, the Myo has been developed for use with a quadcopter, desktop computers and the uses are expanding continuously.

The way the Myo works is quite ingenuous, there are receptors in the arm band that are able to detect the electrical impulses that pass through individual muscle groups in the lower arm. Through extensive study, the movements of the arm and hand have been mapped to an extent that when the user makes a designated hand or arm movement, the Myo is able to interpret it and translate it into a digital response. MYO-Wearable-Gesture-ControlThis unique product has the potential to revolutionise the overlap between the digital world and the real world.

While products like the Wii were innovative and started to create an overlap, the Myo seems to have the real world applications that could make this a household product. In science fiction we see many instances where hand gestures are able to control on-screen visuals, this finally seems to be becoming a reality. Products like the Xbox Kinect and other depth perception technologies are still a long way away from being completely integrated into the workplace, as it is primarily locked into the Xbox, and there are not many other products available for an appropriate price. The developers’ kit and final consumer price is fixed currently at $149.00 or £87.00 which is very affordable. This also has the advantage of being an armband that is both discrete and does not require some of the large hand gestures that other products require. Hand gestures are also programmed into the use of the Myo.

While this being very innovative and unique, it is also has a element of fun which makes this product very attractive. The Myo has been incorporated for use with a myriad of other products. The Occulus Rift has been synced, same as a number of others like a quadcopter as mentioned before, many other remote control vehicles including some mobile platforms that have been associated with the military.

myo

Due to the simplicity of the Myo it has attracted a lot of attention, even Steve Wozniak stated “very cool and impressive. I hope this finds its way into our future soon”. There is real interest generated by the Myo with hopes that this product will infiltrate into daily life by being affordable, compact and easy to use. It incorporates some of the latest technology in its sensors and wireless communication to ensure the accuracy of the system. It is well worth a look at the different developers videos showing the many different applications the Myo will have. It is also refreshing to see a company with such innovative ideas allow open sourcing to such a degree and keep the price from skyrocketing.

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