Thalmic Labs has launched an innovative new armband today called MYO, which allows anyone to control and interact with technology using only their fingers and hands.
The unique gesture control device can be worn just above the elbow on either arm and detects the electrical activity produced by the user’s muscles. Some of the real world applications include being able to scroll up and down a webpage just by lifting or lowering your hand, as well as swiping to the left and right with two fingers in order to switch between desktop apps.
A promotional video seen by TNW shows the user stopping a track in iTunes by clenching his hand into a ball, before increasing the volume by twisting his wrist in a circular motion.
MYO connects wirelessly with other devices using a low energy Bluetooth connection. The functionality is similar to that found in Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral, originally designed for the Xbox 360 console, but which has since become a popular user interface tool for modders.
The difference however is that MYO doesn’t need a camera to sense the user’s movements. It’s certainly a different approach, but will have reduced functionality due to the fact that it’s tracking just one arm – rather than the entire body signature picked up by Kinect.
MYO is available to pre-order today for $149. Thalmic Labs is also launching the MYO API today though, which will allow other developers to experiment with the hardware and hopefully produce new innovative applications.
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