What if the Kinect met its match?
Your next computer or mobile phone may very well be operated by your muscles. This is the bet the company Thalmic Labs is placing– they are currently developing the MYO bracelet which measures muscle movement and allows it control computers, smartphones and game consols with a simple gesture. Unlike Kinect, the MYO bracelet (which retails for $149) doesn’t require a camera to record gestures. The engineers at Thalmic Labs believe that vocal controls like Siri, is limited– smartphone users might not want to conduct an Internet search by talking out loud in public. Through “electromyography” technology that measures pulsions from muscles in the forearm, MYO analyzes the wearer’s movements and transforms them into digital commands. Thalmic Labs even recorded some universal human gestures into commands to pilot objects from a distance. What’s more, the MYO bracelet can learn
and take into account the wearers way of moving and it in turn gives a feedback by sending a small vibration every time the wearer has activated a command. This is yet an another innovation that reminds me of philosopher Joël de Rosnay, who pioneered the idea of a “third skin” (see my post “What if man had a third skin?“).