MYO - Wearable Gesture Control from Thalmic Labs screenshot video. Photo: AFP
The smart armband that enables users to operate computers and other electronic devices simply by flexing their muscles is ready for pre order.
The device, which slides over the arm and translates the wearer's muscle movements into commands -- which it sends to computers via Bluetooth, has already garnered more than its fair share of headlines.
This is partly because it is one of a number of well conceived gadgets that will enable consumers to use nothing more than gestures to take full control of their digital lives, but also because, unlike a number of other offerings rolling on to the market that offer similar features such as the Leap Motion Controller and Microsoft's Kinect for Windows, the user doesn't need to be standing or sitting at a specific location in order to interact with devices via gestures.
The armband currently works with Windows and Apple PCs, and its makers, Thalmic Labs are working on making it compatible with iOS and Android devices in time for its official launch, which they announced this week will take place early in 2014. They also revealed that the device will cost $149 and that when it does ship to its first consumers it will come with a set of pre-defined movements and gestures so that people can slide it on to their arm and start using it straight out of the box.
The company is also now accepting MYO-specific apps from developers in order to extend its uses and possibilities beyond basic computer operations.
The similarly much-touted Leap Motion Controller -- a tiny box that plugs directly into a computer and recognizes gestures within an 8 cubic feet space -- officially launched in July following a number of development delays, and although it does indeed show a lot of promise, all early reviews reached the same conclusion -- that it's not quite the finished item and will need several bug fixes and upgrades before consumers can use it to wave goodbye to traditional computer keyboards and mice and say "Hello" to the post-PC age.