The MYO from Thalmic Labs - Jedi like control of your devices
Ready to unleash your inner jedi?
The MYO has been designed to work with your Mac and PC to allow you to control a computer with hand gestures.
Anything you can control with a mouse you can control with the MYO, be that games, web browsing, music creation, delivering presentations and video. Development versions are already available and innovative uses are being developed all the time.
Unlike traditional motion control for computers (if there is such a thing!) The MYO gesture control system
does not use a camera to scan and recognize movement, instead it is able to detect electrical activity in the muscles. As you move your fingers, hands, wrist and arm, the electrical activity is sensed by the MYO and it is this, combined with a motion controller that is used to control your computer, smartphone or tablet.
What this means is you are much more directly controlling the devices, with the mouse or touch screen interface being removed, because electrical activity is generated just before physical movement, the latency or lag is promised to be extremely low, in fact the device can appear to respond before the user moves his or her arm.
Taking its name from the Greek for muscle (mÅ·s), this motion controller approach also means that the user is not confined to a small space just in front of a camera, think of it like an incredibly versatile remote control that can be turned on and off at will, can control everything from computers to robots and makes you feel as though you are Tom Cruise in Minority report!
MYO from Thalmic Labs Trailer
The two main contenders....
I've pre-ordered both the MYO and the Leap Motion, but I have a hunch that the MYO will actually be the more effective, the communication between the user and the computer will I think be a lot faster and with the right programming and gestures, much more intuitive, what do you think?
Which would you buy?
When will you be able to buy a MYO and how much will it cost?
Thalmic Labs have published that their intent is to get the MYO shipping late 2013, the initial run of 25,000 have all been pre-ordered but you can pre-order one of the second batch, which will ship in in early 2014, until then you will have to wait for this versatile PC motion controller from the Thalmic Labs.
The pre-order price is just $149, no details of standard pricing have yet been released. This might not seem to be "cheap motion control" but it is relatively affordable, and if the innovative thinking combines well and provide intuitive control, very good value.
What's to stop me causing havoc by waving my arms around?
Well nothing, if that is what you want to do, however, the MYO uses an uncommon gesture to switch it on and off, so at the end of whatever task you are doing just disable it.
What if you sneeze or a mosquito lands on your arm? Ok, ok, so how often does that happen? Really?
The MYO can be worn under a shirt too, so it can be totally unobtrusive.
What to know more about the MYO or Thalmic Labs?
- Interview with Stephen Lake of Thalmic Labs - Thalmic hits $1.5M in pre-orders!
(The idea) came from myself and the two other co-founders, we spent some time working on wearable computing during our undergrad at the University of Waterloo and realized this was a super-exciting area.
- Thalmic Labs has been funded through Y Combinator, find out more here
Y Combinator have developed a new model of startup funding. Twice a year they invest a small amount of money in a variety of startups.
More commentary on the MYO
The MYO contains a mixture of proprietary and common technology to communicate both muscle activity and motion.
- Communication between the MYO and your devices is via Bluetooth 4.0, Low Energy
- Lithium-Ion batteries
- ARM Processor
- Proprietary muscle activity sensors.
- 6-axis inertial measurement unit
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