The MYO Gesture-Control Armband Senses Your Muscles’ Movements
Harnessing muscular activity to provide computer input has many advantages over Kinect-like devices that use cameras or inertial sensors. A new gesture-based wireless input device that works by sensing the electrical signature of forearm contractions is now available for pre-order from a new company for $150. The armband, dubbed the MYO, comes with a developer API that lets you fully utilize this sophisticated piece of equipment.
Nature has not laid out the forearm musculature into an ideal X-Y grid for us, but with intelligent filtering, reliable signals can be captured from the morass of electrical activity each movement generates. Something as simple as balling up the hand to stop or start a track in iTunes, for example, generates signals that are highly dependent on the wrist position. When the muscles are already in a state of extension, the EMG signal does not map effectively to force output or position. Martial arts techniques, for example, capitalize on the fact that it is difficult to make a tight fist while the wrist in flexion to get attackers to release a weapon.