Dev

Gesture-controlled wearable Myo now open for hacking

Image Credit: Myo armband via Thalmic Labs

Myo, a gesture-controlled armband, has just been opened up to third-party developers.

Devs are getting APIs for the device, and a few who preorder now will also access to pre-production devices. Myo maker Thalmic Labs is looking specifically for app ideas in the household, gaming, business, and industrial sectors.

Thalmic says that whether a developer is accepted into the pilot program for third parties will depend on several factors, such as compatibility with early APIs and the details of the ideas themselves.

Developers who have already preordered a Myo, who are also likely among the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable applicants, will be the first to be considered as recipients of the pre-production prototypes.


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The armband itself uses proprietary muscle-activity sensors to detect a user’s arm and hand gestures. It also supports Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy to wirelessly communicate with paired devices.

The Canadian startup, which counts a mere 15 souls as employees, debuted as a Y Combinator-incubated startup on March 26 this year. The project has already earned more than $3.7 million in preorders (available at $149 each) from would-be customers in 129 countries.

“Myo is a good commercial implementation of electromyography — a technology that’s already being used in robotics and kinesiology,” said Adib Ghubril, research director at Gartner, in a previous interview with VentureBeat.

“It is a refreshing change to the wired variations we typically see in that space,” he said.

“The uses for MYO are virtually endless,” said Stephen Lake, CEO and co-founder of Thalmic Labs, in a statement on the news.

“By opening this program up to developers and enabling them to build on top of MYO technology, we will ensure that MYO has a deep suite of software applications by the time the product reaches consumer hands.”


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