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The Myo, an Armband Controller, Released by Thalmic Labs

the myo

When the Wii was introduced in the market, it became the hottest thing going around in the world of gaming. The Wii remote became a revolutionary tool in detecting and relaying complex motions. However, two of its main competitors soon began introducing their own line of motion sensing peripherals. At the moment, the Kinect from Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is a popular device for motion detection in games. But according to NewScientist, a new sweatband or armband-looking device has been introduced to match its features which is called the Myo.

The Myo was designed and developed by Thalmic Labs, a Canadian-based company that is based in Kitchener, Ontario. Like the popular Kinect, it is capable of recognizing very complex motions from the different parts of the hand and the arm.

But unlike the Kinect that uses infrared, camera, audio and depth sensors to detect movements, the Myo works by interpreting muscle movements such as contraction and relaxation through the electrodes embedded in it. However, this should not be mistaken with medical electrodes that have to be attached to the skin in order to function.

After doing a certain movement, the Myo wirelessly relays the signals to a software that will read and execute the command that corresponds with the hand or arm gesture.

So far, the prototype is only capable of reading around 20 varying movements but it can recognize actions that are as faint as the tap of a finger. It it capable of filtering interference from other objects too.

Stephen Lake, the co-founder of Thalmic Labs, said that the long-term goal of the company is to transform the product into a tool that can effectively control apps, games and even small drones. He revealed that they are planning to release it by the end of the year. He also said that the price of the gadget when it debuts in the market will be around $149.

The first generation of the item will be offered together with a software intended for use in Windows and Mac computers. The software actually allows the computer to recognize the basic finger and hand commands that we employ when operating touchscreen devices such as pinching, tapping, swiping and many more.

In 2008 Microsoft attempted a similar feat but the gadget that they came up with relied on medical electrodes which are not viable outside the confines of a laboratory. As a result, they aborted the project, stated by the same source.

Shahzad Malik, CognoVision Toronto’s co-founder, praised the innovative armband controller. He stated that if this will be integrated with Google’s Project Glass, it would really be a big hit. Then, he said that in comparison to the Google product, this has a higher potential to sell because it is more fashionable and easier to carry around.

Source: NewScientist

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