Some of us remember a time when the incessant whining over the lack of Future Shock would not cease. ‘Where’s my jetpack?’ ‘Where are all the flying cars’ and ‘Why can’t I beam myself to Tokyo’ would be some of the questions posed by an increasingly impatient horde of nerds and technology enthusiasts. But within recent years these yearning cries have abated considerably as very clever people have gotten on the ball and provided the mind-blowing moments in innovation. The latest of these is the MYO armband, which lifts us into the 2054 setting of Minority Report with downright incredible gesture recognition technology.
Conceived and produced by Canadian tech start-up Thalmic Labs, the wearable MYO interface enables users to control computers, phones, and other devices with simple, intuitive hand gestures. Unlike other gesture-controlled devices we’ve seen in the past, MYO does not require a camera, which essentially means that it doesn’t limit the wearer to a confined space.
Here’s how it works:
'MYO works by using motion sensors that register the movement of the wearer’s arm, as well as electrodes that sense the arm muscles’ electrical activity to differentiate between up to 20 gestures, which even include small movements of the fingers. The armband connects to a computer or other smart device via Bluetooth, so that users can swipe through internet pages, turn the volume up on their music up and even play games. Since it is not limited to a specific place, a person can wear the MYO device all the time, using it as naturally as they would standard gestures like pointing or waving.'
The seemingly endless possibilities of the technology is currently being further diversified, enhanced and perfected as Thalmic Labs have created a program for developers to: ‘let interested people put forth ideas for software applications, expand the seemingly endless amount of possibilities promised by the armband.’
Merging the analog with the digital and blurring the lines between the 'natural' and the 'artificial', Thalmic Lab labs have created a device that promises to make technology an integrated extension of ourselves. Granted, the video is at times a little creepy in its airbrushed promise of a brave new tech utopia, but to be honest that's preferable to the cascade of whimsical, indie-rock soundtracked tech videos, which have washed over the internet in recent years.
Check out more on the MYO armband on the Thalmic Labs homepage.