Myo Gesture Control Armband Review:
Make the most of your presentations with the Myo Gesture Control Armband.
Throughout my life, I have had to sit through many grueling hours of presentations. Think about it. I went through nearly 5 years of undergraduate studies and then another 2 years of graduate school. That is a lot of presentations. For the most part, they were boring. Lots of good information was disseminated, but in the end, they just weren’t very entertaining. I think part of the reason for this might be because people couldn’t be natural while presenting. Most presenters I’ve seen have had to hide behind a podium for ease of viewing their notes, or because of a lack of confidence in their presenting skills. The sad fact about this style of presenting is that you lose so much of the audience. So many people talk with their hands and now, thanks to Myo, you can present more comfortably with your hands, too.
Created by Thalmic Labs, Myo is a gesture control device that connects to your computer via Bluetooth. The device is an armband that is worn on the forearm and senses electrical activity from your muscles. Those electrical signals tell Myo what motion your hand and arm are making and interprets that into a gesture on your computer. This device makes it possible for users to interact digitally using just their fingers and hands.
It’s a remarkable technological breakthrough, in my opinion and when I am using it, I feel like I’m in the middle of a Sci-Fi movie. It really is almost like magic and for me, it has worked as advertised.
The device is very well-built. It’s made from medical-grade stainless steel EMG sensors and contains a highly sensitive nine-axis IMU with a three-axis gyroscope. Plus, the armband has a three-axis accelerometer and a three-axis magnetometer. There is a dual indicator LED that shows when the armband is connected to your computer and if it needs power. It also provides haptic feedback in the form of short, medium or long vibrations.
Upon opening the package, I was immediately impressed with the build quality of the armband. Before getting my hands on it, I wasn’t sure how flexible it would be or how sturdy it would be since it was supposed to be one size fits most. I was excited to find that it was incredibly flexible and surprisingly comfortable to wear.
The pairing process is quite simple. You first have to download the software from Myo and then follow their video tutorial to learn the first few movements that translate into gestures. I was surprised at how quickly I was able to pick it up. I’m sure that practice makes perfect as the armband learns how your muscles move, but the initial set-up proved to me that this product was designed with the end user in mind. The developers created something that was easily understood and learned.
During testing, I really focused on using Myo’s with presentation software. My app of choice was Keynote. I started up a presentation and used the pre-programmed gesture controls to advance slides, make circles around content with the pointer and even zoom into a slide. During the introductory training Myo provides, I had mastered the three main movements to accomplish those functions. I did play around with the basic functionality of Myo, too and found that it could be quite fun while browsing the Internet. It’s not exactly the type of product you buy just for daily use, but it’s great for use during presentations. Since the Myo developers have opened up the armband for the purpose of software developers creating new ways to use it, I’m eager to see what other purposes Myo ends up being used for.
While the Myo armband is really fun to play with, I think its general use development still has a way to go. It does work with presentation software, like PPT, and can really help people have more successful presentations. I can recommend this to anyone looking to spice up your presentations.
The Myo armband retails for $199.
For more information, visit https://www.thalmic.com/en/myo.