MYO Promises To Turn You Into A Jedi
Gesture control has been a contentious aspect of tech development. Nintendo pioneered motion control with the Wii remote, and Microsoft broke ground with controller-less, full-motion controls with the Kinect. While it looked interesting, and some of the home-brew projects using the technology have been far more practical than the products themselves, none of them have added a satisfying amount of real control. That is, until now.
Thalmic Labs has developed MYO, an arm band that uses motion and muscle-activity sensors to track highly-complex gestures with a surprising amount of precision. The company claims you can “unleash your inner Jedi” by binding functions to the wave of your hand, a snap of your fingers or really any motion gesture from your forearm down. Lag between movement and recognition is supposedly nonexistent; and some have said somehow the device occasionally picks up movement just before the gesture occurs. The bound device uses an ARM processor, has a rechargeable battery and can communicate via Bluetooth.
In demonstrations, the armband has controlled a quadrocopter, played Mass Effect 3, and interfaced with various other computer devices. It’s primarily been designed to connect with iOS and Android mobile platforms, as well as Windows and Mac desktop environments. Many have already been clamoring the MYO may be the PC competitor against gaming console motion-controllers Wii Remote, Kinect, and Sony Move.
Other device details are scarce, but the MYO is already available for pre-order at $149. If you bite, you can expect your MYO to come sometime in late 2013, before Christmas. Hobbyists and developers have very seriously been looking into technologies such as this for development in the advanced prosthetics and home automation markets. I’m looking forward to tricking people into believing I have telekinetic powers, and pretending I’ve gained control of an army of tiny robots with my mind.
I want more stuff like this!