Thalmic Labs’ Myo armband is the latest innovation in gesture control: the electromyography-powered armband reads the electrical signals in your arm that cause muscles to contract and translates them to standardized gestures to control digital technologies through Bluetooth. The Lab had a chance to learn more at Tuesday’s NYC! Event, in which Chris Goodine, Thalmic’s Developer Evangelist, discussed the working principles of electromyography, the future of natural user interface technologies, and current and unorthodox use cases for the armband:
At Carnegie Mellon, a project research team is currently testing Myo on Parkinson patients to notify patients when it is time to take their medication. The sensors within the armband can detect early signals of the medication wearing off before symptoms of unintentional movement begin.
During PenApps recent college hackathon, a group of programming students unveiled the “Magic Board”, which is control a motorized long board controlled by the Myo.
In partnership with Oculus Rift, Thalmic has integrated the armband with Oculus Rift’s virtual reality 3D headset. The combination allows a player to use two Myo armbands to control virtual arms in-game as if they were their own.
As gesture control technology advances, it will be interesting to see how developers integrate the technology across PC, console, and especially virtual games. The Lab is eagerly awaiting its Myo to arrive in the mail so we can start experimenting for ourselves.