Sunday 7 July 2013

MYO, the gesture control wristband of the future!

Use the Force!
Sci-Fi is about to become a reality.
With the backing of Y-Combinator, Canadian tech company Thalmic Labs, developed an armband designed to control applications for products such as Windows and MAC PCs, as well as smartphones, and other devices by using Bluetooth 4.0 and rechargeable battery.
Introducing the MYO Gesture Control Armband.
The word Myo, has its origins from the greek name for muscle. Essentially, it is an armband worn on the forearm, that contains sensors for detecting alterations in the electrical activity of the muscles of the arm, down to the individual fingers of the hand. Interpretation of the muscle movement, becomes assigned, or calibrated, as specific commands when paired to devices that use Bluetooth.
What is fascinating, is the speed in which the MYO reacts to your muscle movements. An almost psychic reaction, as it seems to behave a split second before commands become gestured. This is due to how the human brain uses chemical signals to deliver the message to the arm that the fingers are now instructed to move. The muscles electrical signals, however, are more quickly interpreted, and when wearing the MYO it seems to react before the fingers actually move. It's almost a technological symbiosis.
The MYO's translation of the muscle movements are programmable, from multiple actions.
Meaning, make a fist and suddenly a playlist of favorite song titles is emanating from the computer. Or, extend two fingers and the reaction opens up a webpage to your frequently visited sites. How the MYO will engage the applications and devices from specific arm and hand movements is only limited by imagination. The MYO can handle rotations of the wrist and forearm as well, the calibration is up to the user to define.
An entirely new level of immersion is obtainable when controlling characters of popular video games. Imagine for a moment, the act of pointing a finger, and delivering death to enemy combatants. Command attention during business meetings by advancing to the next slide of the presentation, with a simple wave of the hand. Own a quadrocopter? With the snap of the fingers it can rise into the air, awaiting further gestures to command it. Or, consider the uses for remote control vehicles used by the military, commanded by a soldier's silent hand movements.
That is only a tiny fraction of what this device is capable of controlling. Physically impaired or disabled users may find a new level of control, by tightening and relaxing a muscle in their forearm to instruct an electric wheel-chair, or to activate a cell phone.
Currently geared towards developers, it ships with an API to truly explore the potential uses. Pre-order a MYO now, for shipping at the beginning of 2014. The cost is lower than what some might have expected, at only $149. There is no need for cameras or lasers, with a limited range, to interpret the movements. The range of Bluetooth 4.0 extends to 1000 meters. That is over 3,000 feet! The cool factor that this controller imparts is not solely in what it does, or can do, but it is also stylish to wear and does not have the look of a geeky gadget. MYO is certain to deliver a revolutionary influence on how people control devices for years to come.
John Chupon is an author and recognized authority on wristbands, currently working for Wristbands City.

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