If you don’t want to use a mouse to control your computer, you can go full Jedi with Thalmic Labs’ new gesture control armband called MYO.
Developed in 2012 by three University of Waterloo Mechatronics Engineering graduates – Aaron Grant, Matthew Bailey, and Stephen Lake – all they want to do is give humans super powers; and that they do with the new MYO.
The armband connects via low-energy Bluetooth and reacts to the muscles in your forearm. For instance, if you want to move a website up and down – all you have to do is move your arm. Or you can clench your hand to pause a track in iTunes and turn up the volume by twisting your wrist in a circular motion.
The MYO isn’t restricted to just computers either, it also works with video games and remote controlled devices as well. The armband functions much the same way Microsoft Kinect works, but doesn’t need a camera to track the user’s movement. However, with Kinect you can use your whole body to control movement and with MYO you are constrained to only your arm.
The Canadian startup says that the MYO can currently recognize about 20 different gestures. And with plans to open up the platform to developers, it seems opportunities for the practical applications of MYO are endless. How many other daily tasks would be made much simpler? As humans, using only the gesticulation of our hands is already so natural.
Thalmic Labs says that they are dreaming up lots of other practical applications. With Google Glass and other hyper-intuitive product developments, the MYO might be a wave in technology that takes advantage of human’s innate movements. Microsoft Research was working on a prototype using a similar technology and products like Leap Motion are already on the market.
MYO has limited availability and is available to preorder now at the low price of $149. They plan to ship in late 2013.