Thalmic Labs Awarded One of Ten Breakthrough Awards from Popular Mechanics


Every once in a while a product is invented that changes our lives. Amazon’s Kindle, Apple’s iPhone and Microsoft’s Kinect are some of these according to past winners of Popular Mechanic’s Breakthrough awards.

Today, the gesture-control armband MYO from Thalmic Labs, joins this list. The Waterloo-based startup has been identified as one of ten innovations changing the world as one of the recipients of this year’s Breakthrough awards.

Popular Mechanic’s Breakthrough awards recognizes innovators and products that are pushing the boundaries of technology, medicine, space exploration, automotive design and more. The awards are presented in two categories: innovators whose inventions will make the world smarter, safer and more efficient, and products that are setting benchmarks in design and engineering today.

“Each year’s recipients are awe-inspiring as they shape our future through life-changing ideas and innovative products,” said James B. Meigs, editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics. “We are excited to recognize this year’s incredible list of visionaries…and share their breakthroughs that not only capture the imagination, but improve and save lives as well.”

It is no surprise that MYO has made this year’s list. The gesture-control armband uses the kinetic energy of your arm and motion sensors to allow users to control any connected device. Think Kinect or Leap Motion (previous winners of this award) without the need to be in a room or chained to your laptop. MYO has the potential to change the way we interact with smart objects we use in our everyday lives including our laptops, Smart TVs and smartphones.

Among some of the other products honored this year was the Pebble Smartwatch, which also has Waterloo roots, MakerBot’s Digitizer and the Microsoft’s Xbox One.

Popular Mechanic’s selected Peter Diamandis, the founder of XPRIZE Foundation as this year’s Breakthrough Leadership award. Diamandis joins an illustrious list of past Breakthrough Leadership Award recipients including CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors Elon Musk, film director James Cameron, genomics pioneer J. Craig Venter, and humanitarian engineer Amy Smith.

You can head on over to the Popular Mechanic’s site for the full list of innovators and products propelling us into the future.

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.