Thalmic Labs Flexes Its Gesture Control Arm in New Myo Demo Videos


With alpha units of the Myo now in the hands of developers, we are starting to really see the power of this game changing wearable come to life. To demonstrate what developers have been able to do so far, Kitchener-based startup, Thalmic Labs, have released two new videos that show the Myo in action.

Last week, Thalmic Labs released a quick peek at what some of the very first developers are doing with its gesture control armband. This video features five different applications showing how the Myo can be used in a wide variety of situations from gaming to robotics and even sign language translation.

Among the applications featured in the video is Kitchener’s Clearpath Robotics who have been successful at using the Myo to drive an unmanned robotic vehicle with their arms; Waterloo Computer Engineering Undergrad, Kevin Nause who used the Myo to control a DSLR camera (which could quite possibly be the ultimate hands-free selfie); and Technical Consultant, Tim Graupman, from Reactor Interactive who built a plug-in for unity-based game Sector 13, to use Myo in lieu of a traditional controller to fly a spaceship.

We caught up with Graupman and asked him why he was so excited about using Myo for gaming. “The Myo gives you true power,” Graupman told Betakit. “With the accelerometer and gestures I’m able to map to all the actions I had on the controllers. Yaw, Pitch, Roll, and gestures is everything you need to fly a starfighter”.

Thalmic’s most recent video shows what its in-house team was able to do with two Myos and popular virtual reality glasses, Oculus Rift. Using one Myo on each arm, the Thalmic team were able to create a unity-based experience that gives you working virtual arms when looking through the Rift, an experience Thalmic calls “magical”.

“One of the things we found early on, was when we put our arms in the same position as on the screen there was a weird magical moment where, just for a second, it felt like those were your arms that you were looking at,” explains Thalmic Lab software lead, Stefanus Du Toit. “Once we started adding motion to these, that illusion went from something that just lasted for a moment to something that lasted for the entire experience.”

With Myo Developer Kits expected to ship within the first half of this year we are sure to see more and more of these types of videos pop up on YouTube, both from Myo and from the developers themselves which is promising for those that are waiting for the final units to arrive mid-2014.

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.