All about the Myo Motion Control Armband

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What Is a Gesture Control Armband?

At first glance the Myo gesture control armband appears to be some kind of strange clumsy jewellery. The thing about the Myo gesture control armband is that it¿s actually one incredibly clever little device. It falls in the realm of wearable tech and allows you to wirelessly control your desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. It¿s also now available to consumers.

Let's Talk Tech

The Myo armband is not the only motion controlled gadget on the market, Kinect and Wii were amongst the first, and for a long time that was all there was. The new Myo motion control armband however, works through an entirely different process.

While the Kinect uses a webcam-style camera, and the Wii relies on accelerometer and optical sensor technology, the Myo armband relies on a biosensor.

Known as Thalmic noncontact muscle activity sensors, the electromyograph evaluates the minute electrical impulses in our arms. In conjunction with a gyroscope and a magnetometer, they record the differences in body and hand movement, thereby translating gestures and motions into actions.

The result of all this incredible technology is the beginning of a new kind of human-computer interaction. This is the kind of technology that becomes part of us, like a new sense, its unobtrusive and always available.

The Guys behind the Gadget

It¿s not so long ago that a Canadian team of PHD and masters graduates; with electrical engineering and embedded system design backgrounds, combined their unique skills to form Thalmic Labs.

Together they brought Myo into fruition. Their first demonstrations began in 2013. Since then, the incredible invention has garnered many a positive review, amassed over 40 000 pre-orders and released the first Myo developer pack.

The Specs of the Myo Gesture Control Armband

The Myo device connects to your computer via Bluetooth 4.0. It¿s compatible with Mac, Windows, iOS and Android and worn on the thickest part of your dominant arm.

Setting up the Myo motion control armband is swift, you need only perform a single 2-part gesture to calibrate the device to your particular hand, finger and forearm movements. Within 10 minutes you should have mastered all the simple gestures and the armband should become second nature to you.

You will have one particular gesture to wake the Myo and to put it to sleep. The reason for this is so that during a presentation or slide show, your normal hand gestures do not disrupt your presentation unnecessarily.

It appears as if everything has been thought through in the production of the Myo. There are a few more details you might want to know before you make your purchase.

  • The unit is charged through a micro USB cable
  • A single charge takes up to 2 hours and can last up to 2 days
  • The sensors require direct contact with your skin
  • The device is not waterproof, but it is resistant to humidity and perspiration
  • The armband fits arms with a circumference range from 19cm to 34cm

If you¿re a member of the Oculus Rift fan club, this is a natural next step in the realm of virtual reality and human-computer interaction.


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