Recent Waterloo Visit Sees Prime Minister Harper Interact with Thalmic Labs and its “Myo” Armband


It looks like even the Prime Minister himself couldn’t wait to get a glimpse of the Myo.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper got a behind-the scenes look at Thalmic Labs’s gesture control armband Myo on Friday. The PM was given a tour of its corporate office and was also treated to a live demo of the Myo armband flying a Parrot drone.

“It was an incredible experience having Prime Minister Harper visit Thalmic Labs on Friday, showing a true interest in the technology that we’re creating. Visits like this solidify the impact that start-ups like ours can have, both on a national and a global scale,” Thalmic Labs told me.

Earlier that week, Thalmic hosted a 45-minute hangout with co-founders Stephen Lake and Aaron Grant where they fielded questions about the final design, shipping timelines and applications.

From the hangout we learned that the Myo will have a battery life of approximately 2 days, will be sweat- and moisture-resistant, but unfortunately not waterproof, and is currently planned to go out with five stock gestures including fist, wave in, wave out, finger spread and thumb-pinky tap. Thalmic was quick to point that there will likely be more gestures added as its machine learning continues to perfect new algorithms.

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Thalmic Labs also revealed in its Q&A with users that it intends to launch an app store for the armband called Myo Market, which will be a place to discover and learn about the product and download applications. The store will house apps created by the 10,000 third-party developers that applied to create software for the armband as well as those created in-house by the Thalmic software team.

We have already seen some incredible apps for the alpha developer program on Thalmic’sYouTube channel. Many of these use the Myo to control connected lighting, change up the music and add new interactions for Oculus Rift.

The Myo Market is expected to open closer to the September shipping date for Myo.

Tom Emrich

Tom Emrich

As a writer, consultant and community builder, Tom Emrich uses his passion for new technologies to act as a catalyst to bring on the future. He founded We Are Wearables, an organization that rallies the tech community together to discover, discuss and demo wearable tech in order to foster adoption and facilitate innovation in the wearable space. We Are Wearables is the largest wearable tech community of its kind in the world with chapters in Toronto, Ottawa and Chicago. Tom writes regularly about wearables and other emerging technologies for MobileSyrup, BetaKit, Design News and Designers of Things. He also works with startups, and large organizations as an advisor and consultant offering assistance on product development, marketing and organizational strategy.