Gadgets startup creates futuristic mobile devices

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This new company is coming up with products that you’d expect James Bond to carry.

A startup company called Thalmic Labs, from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, has started taking pre-orders for some of its gadgets which have been described as futuristic and have been compared to the types of devices that 007 would be seen using in his movies.

Among the products receiving the most attention is the Myo armband that it has had available for pre-order for a few months.

This particular gadget from Thalmic Labs picks up the forearm muscles’ electrical activities – particularly the movements for the control of the wrist and fingers as they gesture and perform various tasks – in order to translate those signals into commands. Stephen Lake, the co-founder and CEO of Thalmic, said that the advantage of the Myo armband over motion capture devices – such as Kinect from Microsoft or the Leap Motion Controller – is that users are not required to wave their hands around in front of a camera.

This gadget requires a smaller amount of workspace and less dramatic movements.

Lake explained that when cameras are used by gadgets, they need a larger workspace in which to function, and they are able to detect only exaggerated movements, or on the other hand, require a very tiny workspace with the fine type of movements that exist only in areas such as surgery. But the Myo is capable of detecting large arm motions as well as more subtle gestures of the fingers, moreover the user is not required to remain in one place and face a single direction.

He stated that what the company is most interested in achieving in terms of the gadgets that it produces, “is the next evolution of smart devices–in getting away from sitting in front of a computer.”

At the moment, the applications for the Myo have to do with using the armband as a replacement for other types of controllers, such as to control a tool or weapon in a video game, to turn up the volume on a computer, or to flick the wrist in order to move to the next slide in a presentation. Lake also added that “We’ve also played with things like the Sphero robotic ball and a remote-controlled helicopter drone.”

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