Myo, the latest in gesture control

Quadcopter-footer and Myo band.  

The day is not far when you would be seamlessly able to operate various computing devices with your gestures. Remember how cool the technology looked in Minority Report? Well, we have not achieved that level yet, but we are close.

Of course, you would say that Microsoft’s Kinect works just fine, and so does the technology by Leap Motion. But, Kinect and Leap Motion (that never really took off) require you to be in front of a machine for them to work. These systems depend heavily on gesture-recognition algorithms that have trouble in detecting the gestures if the distance is too much, or if the light is too less.

These posed quite a problem to those who have been on the lookout for some ground breaking gesture–controlled technology. Thalmic Labs decided to go with a different line of thought. They decided to do away with the camera-based system and go with a system that, instead, reads the activity of the muscles in your forearm! This has been achieved with the use of a process called electromyography (EMG), and the device can analyze which muscles of your arm are tensed, including the degree of the tension. The device, named Myo, uses this information to figure out the position of your hand, thereby making it more reliable than camera-based systems that are known to struggle with the detection of individual fingers.

Myo, an armband, understands many different hand gestures, including the speed, direction, and angle of your arm, by using EMG along with IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit). IMU consists of a three-axis magnetometer, a three-axis accelerometer, and a three-axis gyroscope. Also, being designed to be worn on your arm and moved around, it lets you interact with a whole lot of objects, and not just those with a gesture recognizing camera in them.

Myo can be used to scroll pages up or down by just moving your hands up or down. You can also switch between applications on your desktop by swiping your arm. You can, in fact, stop tracks by just holding your hand, and can increase or decrease the volume by rotating your wrist. This device can be very useful for gamers. They could use it while playing a game by simulating an action that needs to be performed in the game. For example, if you are playing a game where you need to shoot people, you can hold an imaginary gun and can change directions in the game by changing the directions of your hand. This is much easier than trying to battle with various controls.

Myo is more sophisticated than Kinect, and is built to read the smallest activity in your muscle. You can take it with your wherever you go, and this portability makes it the unanimous choice over Kinect. The device defines the future of air gesture control.

You can pre-order one for $149, and Thalmic plans on shipping them by mid-2014.

Check >Thalmic Labs for more details.

Ayyappa Nagubandi is an entrepreneur, inventor and the co-founder and CEO of Possibillion Technologies.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 4:08:12 PM |

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