Thalmic Myo icon

Gesture control has captured the imagination of manufacturers and consumers alike, and the Microsoft Kinect has fueled that interest by delivering a $100 product that lets users control their gaming system just by moving. One limitation of such systems, however, is that they are stuck in a fixed location. It would make more sense if you could have a wearable device that would let you control all sorts of devices using hand gestures. That’s the reasoning behind the Myo from Thalmic Labs. It is an expandable armband that you wear on your forearm. Sensors detect activity in the muscles that you use to control your fingers and hand, and the controller matches those activity patterns to specific motions. The system also includes a 9-axis inertial motion detector to provide more data about your movements.

The company has announce partnerships with companies that create applications for Google Glass, Recon Jet, and Epson Moverio. The Myo can provide a way for users to interact silently with their head-mounted displays without having to touch the devices. The company is already shipping developer kits to companies that want to develop applications that use inputs from the Myo. The possible uses of the Myo are endless and go far beyond working with smart glasses, from helping control prosthetic hands to providing remote control of “smart” devices such as household appliances. The pre-order price for the device is just $150, and it has the prospect of changing the lives of all sorts of people with physical limitations or medical conditions.