First we went from using keyboards to using a touchscreen, then we got inertial and camera-based controllers, and now a new gesture control gadget will allow us to control our digital devices from across the room, just by moving our fingers.
Someday we may be saying "Remember when we used to have to touch our computers to operate them?", and that day may be coming sooner than we think, thanks to inventions such as the MYO armband.
The brave new world of wearable computing just got another big boost, and the future of wireless device controls now has a new leader.
The MYO armband, which uses the electrical activity in the muscles of the forearm to control other devices via a Bluetooth connection, could be in the hands of users as soon as the end of this year (for the 25,000 people who have already preordered one).
MYO, from Thalmic Labs, uses a proprietary muscle sensing system to pick up the electrical activity in the muscles of the forearm, sometimes even before the user moves their hand, and uses an ARM processor and Bluetooth 4.0 connection to send commands to other devices. The armband also integrates an inertial sensor system to track the position of the arm and hand, and is powered by Li-ion batteries.
"The MYO works out of the box with things you already have - like your Mac or Windows PC. You can control presentations, video, content, games, browse the web, create music, edit videos, and so much more!" - MYO
The MYO system also has a unique gesture to use for enabling or disabling the device (so it won't get accidentally turned on or off), and uses haptic feedback to let the user know when it is operating, so you don't inadvertently send commands to devices while you're doing something else.
If you'd like to reserve a MYO for yourself, the company is taking preorders for their next shipment (2014), as the first run is already sold. The price is just $149, and the units come are available in either black or white.
Now the question is, will we be seeing early adopters not only wearing Google Glasses and talking to themselves, but also making strange hand and arm movements as they surf the web while standing on the sidewalk?