The reason the Myo works so much better than other gesture recognition systems is the diversity of sensors in it. Not only does it have a MEMS inertial measurement unit (IMU) in it, but it also has eight electromyography (EMG) sensors in an flexible band surrounding the arm. Using those together it can accurately determine the difference between dozens of different hand gestures.
"The Myo is an arm band with eight EMG sensors that picks up the actions of your muscles, for instance when you make a fist, or point a finger it can pickup on that," Greenberg told EE Times. "And the IMU helps to determine how you are moving that hand gesture, whether you are rotating a virtual knob, or instance. Connected to a computer over Bluetooth we provide a SDK [software development kit] that lets developers use gestures for their own applications."
An ARM processor and a Bluetooth communications chip provide the communications link between the IMU and EMG sensors and the host computer.
Recon's Jet lets the viewer see the whole scene in front of him plus adds a high-resolution display and and HD camera.
In medical devices, Thalmic is working with Augmedix in San Francisco, which is using Google Glass to allow physicians to access personalized medical documentation, using the Myo to scroll through patient information with hand gestures in a manner just as efficient as if they were sitting at a keyboard.
For delivery services, Thalmic is working with Recon Jet to help bicycle couriers find the locations for deliveries as well as report-in when they have been made. Thalmic also reports progress in many other fields where noise foils a voice interface.
Epson's Moveria glasses add a stereo see-through display to their head-mounted unit.
APX Labs LLC in Herndon, Va., for instance, is using Thalmic's SDK to allow Epson's Moverio or Google's Glass to allow service workers to access data, troubleshoot problems and receive detailed feedback in seconds, even in loud settings like wind mills, oil refineries and hydro-electric plants.
Video: Smartglasses plus Myo gesture controller give workers seemingly super powers.
In the construction field where noise if always a problem -- even over the phone -- Thalmic's SDK is being used by Bridgit's Closeout application, which allows inspectors to browse through construction sites noting deficiencies during walk through inspections that need to be communicated in real time to the project managers and sub-contractors that can fix the problems.
Thalmic says the SDK is available now and the Myo armband will be shipping in volume this fall.
— R. Colin Johnson, Advanced Technology Editor, EE Times