Thalmic Lab’s gesture control band, Myo is now available on Amazon for $199. The Myo is an armband and senses your muscles in action. With a little hand motion and flick of the arm, you can control the technology, without touching or any fuss of wires. The Myo is supported by the Myo Market which is a Beta platform for many developers and makers to create relevant apps and extend the functionality of the armband. As of now, the armband already supports and lets you control apps like Spotify, Keynote, Prezi, Netflix, PowerPoint, VLC, Skype and many more.
The Myo is designed for the people age 12 or up and is one-size-fits-all. It senses five distinctive hand gestures and lets you take control. It is one size fits all. You cannot only command the presentation slides or games to run the way you want to but also pilot the drone touch-free. During presentations, you need to flick your arm to the right and left for the next and previous slide respectively. It connects over Bluetooth Smart and is compatible with Mac, Windows, iOS and Android. The connecting Myo app takes the input and transmits it to the connecting device. A pinch is all it does to pause or restart the Myo and take the audience out of hypnosis! There is no ‘start’ button because Myo is a ready to go device, it will start as soon as you wear it and if it sense idleness for a while, it will go back to sleep mode.
The Myo SDK lets the developers create and experiment. The map gestures for keyboard custom control is also there.
At 93 grams, it is not “that” lightweight and when toggling between the controls, you most certainly are going to feel it. Equipped with 8 sensors including three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer and three-axis magnetometer, it runs on ARM Cortex M4 processor. Like Apple Watch, it utilizes the haptics technology. It lasts about a day on a single charge and can be charged via micro-USB port.
The touchless gesture control is all set to be the next big thing this year. At CES 2015, Thalmic Labs introduced integration of Myo with TedCas that will help surgeons to maneuver surgical images without touch. Similarly, DJ Armin van Buuren flicked his wrist and controlled the stage light with the Myo band. But still it is a long way to go as recognizing the gesture and sending the right output to the device remains a tough task.