Thamic Labs Myo

Wearable bio-sensing controller for operating devices wirelessly by gesture

Image: Hugh Threlfall

By the time you read this, the Apple Watch will have been on the market a few months but will still be engendering admiration, curiosity, discussion and controversy. Has it changed your life? Which watch face do you love best? Which feature do you find the most futuristic? Which strap should you go for? (I recommend a selection – it looks quite different depending on your choice, so the answer is clearly to have a few).

One conundrum that will be perplexing many converts, however, is what to do meanwhile with your treasured Swiss watches, because wearing an Apple Watch on one wrist and a mechanical one on the other is not a look that will have universal appeal.

It was Jose Torrens, CEO of Audemars Piguet UK, who introduced me to Myo, an exciting and wholly optional wearable gadget that can be worn on the same arm as a proper watch, because it sits just below the elbow. Similarly, it still works when hidden under a shirt or jacket (better, actually, because it looks pretty silly unconcealed).

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Myo is a bio-sensing device controller for operating Bluetooth-equipped apparatus wirelessly by gestures. It senses muscle movements from electrical impulses in the lower arm/hand, along with body movements from its accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer. The manufacturer, Thalmic Labs, uses Myo for Powerpoint presentations, moving through slides using none-too extravagant hand gestures in the air. And Torrens is already playing air computer to move through music tracks on his laptop, opening his hand and spreading his fingers to play, waving right or left to change track, or making a fist to stop.

The Myo app store is developing daily, and other uses are still being dreamt up. One I like on the Thalmic website is to stop and start a cookery video on a computer using air gestures, while your hands are covered in cooking ingredients.

For more wearable technology, check out Samsung’s Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit smart watches or the good-looking MetaWatchfrom the creator of Vertu.

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