Developed by Thalmic Labs, the Myo armband is bringing Minority Report-like technology a step closer to reality. As previously reported on Bits & Pieces, the armband allows a user to interact with a computer through motion commands. Sensors in the device measure the motion and electrical activity of a person’s arm, allowing it to figure out the specific hand gesture someone is making. Most recently, the Canadian startup has announced a number of partnerships with developers and software companies to bring gesture control to smart glasses, too.
The Myo’s gesture control is now going to be compatible with a range of smart glasses, including Google Glass, Recon Jet, and Epson Moverio, with a push towards the enterprise, particularly in the construction, healthcare and active outdoor verticals. “Smart glasses like Google Glass can be extremely useful for many jobs. Doctors, repairmen, even firemen — wherever there’s a profession that sometimes requires crucial information without sitting at a desk or holding a tablet, wearable technology is up to the task,” writes Mashable‘s Pete Pachal.
“We’re big fans of wearable tech of all shapes, sizes, and uses. These new displays have created a need for new interfaces — and that need is an opportunity we’ve seized upon when developing the Myo armband. The wrist and arm are the hot spots for wearables right now, but look out — literally — smart glasses and heads up displays are going to be huge!” Thalmic Labs’ Alex Kinsella wrote on the company blog.
Using electromyographic (EMG) sensors to recognize electrical signals pulsating through your forearm muscles, Myo can detect detailed data about your arm’s muscle activity. This enables the wearable device to identify whether the wearer’s gestures, whether they’re clenching, flicking, waving their wrist. Thalmic Labs explains that wearers will be able to get rid of remote controls, touch pads, buttons and voice control that might slow down access to information, as well as multi-step processes to either enter or retrieve data. This will be particularly useful in work environments that are noisy or require sterility. As its website states, by integrating the Myo armband, workers will have the ability to stay focused on the task at hand while reliably interacting with smart glasses through simple and natural gestures.
“We’re literally changing the way that we, as people, interact with the digital world around us,” Co-Founder Matthew Bailey tells Forbes.