Imagine playing music on your phone while busy with your hands doing some cooking, cleaning or washing, and at the same time being able to skip a track or adjust your volume without stopping your chores. That’s what the Myo gesture control armband allows you to do.
And more. How about changing the music while you’re driving with a quick wave of the hand? Or scrolling through your presentation with a hand gesture without pressing any button?
When worn on the arm, this comfortable elastic armband can control several types of electronic devices, provided they are Bluetooth-compliant. And if the device doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity, the Myo armband can interact with it through a USB sensor.
The famous Dutch DJ and music producer, Armin van Buuren, is reported to be a big fan of the Myo armband, using it to control stage lights and effects; he can be part of the show and doesn’t need to sit stuck behind his laptop.
Gesture control is nothing new. Devices like Kinect and the tap keyboard are all around. However the Myo armband is a bit unique in the way that it senses gesture commands. The armband draws some of its input information directly from the muscles in your arm.
The armband is able to employ this technique, known as electromyography, through medical-type electromyography sensors that detect nerve impulses. The armband combines this with other regular sensors used in gesture devices such as gyroscopes and accelerometers. Somehow, this contributes a bit to accuracy.
Another amazing thing about the Myo gesture control armband is that Thalmic Labs, the company which created it, did not make it specifically for any particular device or program. The armband can work on almost any electronic device with Bluetooth or USB functionality and gestures can also be customized to some extent. This openness has allowed people to adapt the armband for various electronic devices and operating systems and create apps to accompany its various uses.
Overall, the Myo armband is a remarkable device with just a few downsides. People have reported occasional challenges with its sensitivity and accuracy. However, the device’s accuracy is quite high and continuous use appears to be enough to put issues to rest.
The device can also not be taken out for use in a hurry since the armband needs a few minutes during setup for the sensors to warm up and build a strong connection with the muscles in your arm. But that’s not a big deal. After a few minutes it will vibrate when it is ready and you can then use it.
If you’re an early adopter who’s not afraid of testing out interesting consumer electronics, then this is one to try. It goes for something in the region of $100 and $131 depending on the vendor.