Myo Gesture Control Armand. Are We Ready For Gesture Movement?

In the past year we have seen a small explosion in wearable tech. Apple just got on board with the Apple watch and the sales of it has already dominated the sales of Android Wear devices. We can expect to see many more wearables in the future. In fact the wearable stage is not at its ripe point yet. It still has a while to go. The Myo from Thalmic Labs is bringing something quite different to the table. 

The Myo is an electronic armband used for gesture movements. What this allows you to do is interact with your electronic device using only your hands. The Myo has heat sensors all around which interact with your muscles. The Myo can work with Mac, Windows, Android, and iOs. 

The Myo comes with a bluetooth adapter, micro usb cable and links to make the Myo smaller. However I doubt the average person will need to use the adapters. The Myo fits very snug as it comes. Its a little tight, but I understand the need for it since it interacts with my muscles. The booklet inside the box basically cuts to the chase and points you to the online webpage used to set up the Myo. 

The setup process is very simple and has detailed instructions on getting your Myo setup. This experience is one that sticks out to me the most. One thing I hope Thalmic Labs never changes is that setup process. Its one of those setup processes that just felt welcoming and was a breeze. In this process you will sync the Myo using a specific technique. You will perform different actions with your hands testing out all the gesture movements. The basics are wave right, wave left, spread your fingers, make a fist. 

The Myo comes with several built in connectors to be used with your device. I have mainly used Spotify, VLC and Power Point and a few others.  There is a Myo market with other connectors. Some of the connectors are only available for specific devices. There are connectors like Media Player which is for Windows Media player and Safari for Mac. Some of the connectors on the market I doubt would be much use to many people but they are there. 

The battery life on the Myo seems to be quite well so charging it every couple of days should not be an issue. The Myo is not waterproof but is resistant to humidity and sweat. As far as hardware goes I personally believe the Myo is very well built. It seems rugged and definitely looks like something from the future. It is one of those things that attract attention and will get many questions. I believe the downfall of the Myo is the software and the movements themselves.

For the past week I have been moving and assembling Ikea furniture. I have tightened numerous amounts of nuts and bolts and the result is my arm is sore. My hands feel like jello and in pain. I say all this because I believe it has a factor to play with the gesture movements. I have read about people having problems with the unlocking feature (tapping your middle finger and thumb twice) not working correctly. For me this is not an issue. My issue is when I unlock I will wave right and the Myo recognizes it as my hands being spread. I wave right and the Myo recognizes a fist being made. I have redone the sync movement and have done my own calibration and I continue to have that problem. 

A lot of the times it works flawlessly and it doesn't seem to have a problem but other times the Myo can't decide what movement I am actually making. I believe it has something to do with the muscles in my arm being worn out. After my arm heals up a little I will continue to test this theory out and see how it goes. 

I would like to note that as I said before it is mostly a software issue. The Myo is at its early stage of development and with updates over time these issues would be fixed. I believe Myo is going to shine especially when it comes to presentations. The powerpoint connector is a very good way to do presentations and will be perfected once the software has some time to mature. 

The Myo leaves one main question. Are we ready for gesture movement? With the birth of smart watches its hard to imagine gesture movement devices being such a factor, but if anything is on the road to change those assumptions it would be the Myo from Thalmic Labs. 

Go here to get more info on the Myo. 




Disclosure: I received a free Myo Gesture Control Armband from Thalmic Labs in return for a review. The review above is my own and my honest opinion. 


Robert Bassett