Waterloo-based startup Thalmic is getting close to shipping its final consumer version of the Myo gesture control armband, which slips onto the forearm and can detect electrical impulses sent through your arm’s muscle tissue to translate those signals to various types of computerized input via Bluetooth.
The final shipping design is much sleeker than the developer alpha Myo device that Thalmic has been shipping to a select group of development partners over the past half-year. It’s almost half the weight, at under 95 grams, and compares to a very light men’s wristwatch. It’s designed to be worn under clothing as an all-day device, the company tells me.
The Myo cuff is essentially a series of black rectangular modules with flexible cable housing running top and bottom, with a single size design that can expand or contract depending on forearm size. It still doesn’t look like something you can entirely forget you’re wearing, but we’ll have to wait and see what kind of heft it has and how it feels while it’s worn.
These final designs are going to be shipping as part of the Myo Developer Kit pre-order package going out next month, and then the non-dev final versions will begin shipping starting in September to pre-order customers. Thalmic expects wide release of the Myo to happen in fall, meaning their should be stock available for new customers in time for the holiday season.
This design and the tech in the Myo are the products of a design process that began back in 2012, so it’s good to see it nearing completion. The final design reflects the company’s desire that the Myo should become a sort of persistent, background wearable that we have on always and that can freely interact with any number of devices we encounter in our daily lives. Whether or not that happens will depend on developer support, and how practical the applications are that devs come up with to use with the gadget.