Thalmic Myo Armband | Review

The Thalmic Myo Armband controls technology with motions and movements by reading the electrical currents of the muscles, freeing your hands to make these commands.

7.1 Total Score
THALMIC MYO ARMBAND SCORES

EFFECTIVENESS
7
USER-FRIENDLY
6
FEATURES
8.5
PRICE
7
PROS
  • Innovative ways of controlling devices
  • Large array of sensors
  • Supported by many applications
CONS
  • Sometimes inaccurate
  • Not user-friendly
  • Mostly uncomfortable
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Last updated on June 16, 2018 1:53 am
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What is Thalmic Myo Armband?

If you’re a big fan of sci-fi films, you might have dream of getting those gesture-controlled devices. There is something with waving and bending your arms that makes it awesome. This is exactly what Myo does.

The Thalmic Myo Armband analyzes the muscles in your arms and then uses it to control things just by moving them. You can control your smartphone, your speakers, and even the Powerpoint presentations. You can even run through a movie just with the Myo.

Since Myo is an open API, many creators have used it to create controls for almost any sort of things. It is an exciting product that lets us have a look at what developments can there be in the future.

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Key Features

  • Reads muscle electricity and motion for wireless technology control
  • 100+ apps to control games, music, presentation, and more
  • Customized control by mapping gestures
  • Open APIs for home automation, drones, and VR
  • Works with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS through wireless connection

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How Does It Work?

The Myo makes use of medical grade stainless steel electromyographic sensors (EMG). These sensors measure and analyze the electrical activity of the muscles. A little fun fact: In Greek, Myo means “muscle”.

Other technologies have been using EMG for the past years now like prosthetic limbs. Myo uses EMG along with a nine-axis IMU with three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer, and three-axis magnetometer.

These sensors work together with a tiny ARM Cortex M4 processor. All these technical terms lets you do all the work that Myo can provide.

The sensors are contained inside eight plastic shells that are joined by a flexible band. This means that it can fit to any arm size. Also, the elastic band allows the sensor to come in tight contact with your skin so that it can study accurate feedback to devices it is connected with. The connection is through Bluetooth 4.0 to your smartphone or PC.
The Myo’s tightness fit to the skin causes skin imprints that are uncomfortable. It also becomes itchy especially if your skin is the type to sweat a lot.

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Ease of Use

SSetting up the Myo and using it are very complicated things. It needs patience and perseverance to learn how to use it.
First, you need to set up the Myo Armband Manager software on your PC and Mac. The guide will run you through the set up where you need to connect the Myo and the Bluetooth adapter to the computer.
Setting up Myo on your phone is a different area and it would be much easier. As long as you pair it via Bluetooth, it will then be easy to use it to control other apps.
There have been reports of Myo being inaccurate. Most of the time, PC apps are more susceptible to this inaccuracy.
The “custome gesture profile” is a bit disappointing. It doesn’t allow you to create new gestures but rather assign work to pre-made gestures. With that being said, Myo isn’t a great tool for work that needs precision. It loses its accuracy as the apps and icons become smaller. The preset gestures also seem to counteract each other.

Read Monoprice MP Select Mini 3d-Review

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Applications

While Myo isn’t a great precision tool, it can be a cool tool for other application and uses. Among the things that Myo is great for includes:

  • Presentation Mode. The Myo can let you control a Powerpoint or Keynote presentation using gestures. The gestures need not to be precise. This works well as you only need a few controls for a presentation.
  • Myo Netflix Connector. With the Myo, you can control the volume, skip forward and backward with your video player, be it on Netflix or VLC.
  • Myo Spotify/iTunes Connector. Just like the video controllers, Myo also lets you to the same with your music streaming apps.
  • Gaming. If you’re a big fan of games, you might appreciate that Myo lets you use Connectors of a couple of smartphone and PC games for a more active and interactive gaming experience.

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Images

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VIDEO

VIDEO

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Conclusion

Myo isn’t for everybody. It certainly isn’t for people who are working with precision. But, it is for people who like to be able to take control without a lot of things on their hands. It may not be that perfect yet, but Myo is certainly a step towards the future.

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Price alert and history

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Myo Gesture Control Armband (Black), Thalmic Labs Corporation

Price: $199.99 as of June 16, 2018 1:53 am  
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Statistics

Current Price $199.99 June 16, 2018
Highest Price $199.99 December 23, 2017
Lowest Price $193.99 January 11, 2018
Since December 23, 2017

Last price changes

$199.99 February 18, 2018
$193.99 January 11, 2018
$199.99 December 23, 2017

3 Comments
  1. This is a great device but it isn’t ready for prime time quite yet. Not out of the box anyways. I would like to talk about my experiences with myo as I’ve owned it since november of last year. First myo I received was dead so I had to rma it. Then finally a myo that works had arrived. At the time the software was very limited and there were a few things one could do, but it wasn’t very efficient. But I had the developer’s package so I expected such. As time progressed the software became better and better. And then something magical happened. I found out a program made by Bitshift Interactive called the “Mapper for Myo” (I am paid absolutely nothing for this). I was on the fence about buying it. I mean 25 bucks for software on top of the armband is asking for a lot. However, I went ahead and bought it because it promised a very customizable experience. This is when the magic started. After the update in march, this device became much more useful. Suddenly, I felt like I had the force. I was able to create profiles for a lot of things that didn’t have a profile before and that with 0 programming required. And yes, there are still 6 poses (though the company does plan to release a custom pose creator in the future). There are countless ways to modify those poses though. This is what made this magical. I could make a fist, then twist my fist or raise my arm in order to do something. I have been able to use myo to play games, use it for music, video and whatever else I desired. And the cool part about it, is it is still in early development stages. I am always active in the community because I see this as a future that we can behold today. It is a really exciting path. Now for those who want to purchase this product, let me give you the cons and pros that I have found.Cons:1) The armband is very sensitive, so if it moves even a slightest little bit, you have to resync it.2) False positives will be present, though I personally have not experienced such as much, probably due to deliberate way I wear the armband.3) Lack of support for Mac and Linux, I am using Windows and it works just fine.4) The armband needs a lot of patience, so anyone who is impatient should avoid this product for now.Pros:1) THE FORCE!!!!!!!!!!!!2) The customer service is superb. I have no idea what the other guys were talking about. I have always gotten a reply within a day of the email I had sent. For a startup company it is superb to have such a customer service.3) Software. This would have been a con before march, but I’m deciding that it is a very positive thing and brings a lot of support to things already out there. And as this becomes more popular, and gaming/software companies decide to integrate myo it will become simply amazing to have this. I strongly recommend something like the Mapper for Myo as a base software package, I feel like soon they might replace the software that comes with the armband out of the box. (Once again, I’m not being paid anything for this, but I do want to see these guys succeed due to the fact that if they get the funds for this it will make things better for all of us).4) Long lasting battery life, I can go an entire day wearing this device and it will still have some charged in the evening.

  2. I have thought about getting Myo for a while. I finally decided to order, and it arrived less than 24 hours later! It was easy to sync and get started with the Thalmic video tutorials. I have a small arm so I use a couple of the sizing clips that came in the box, and it fits very comfortably. I’ve just started experimenting with Myo, but so far it is very promising. I can’t wait to see more apps developed for my iPhone and iPad. Will keep checking Myo Market for new developments!

  3. I would recommend this to anyone in a presentation setting who is familiar with technology. I teach World History and use the Myo primarily to swipe through keynote presentations. I have used it for Netflix and iTunes as well.I wear the band only halfway up my arm because I can rest it comfortably in this position. Because I put it on this way, I had to make a custom profile instead of using their gestures. I actually preferred setting my own because I didn’t have to make the motion quite the same as they want you to.As far as usability and control, the Myo is great if you understand you need to wear it a good 3 or 4 minutes before trying to use it. It’s also still new (hasn’t even been out a year yet), so of course its occasionally going to get the wrong read or miss a command. I would say the accuracy of the Myo is around 95% or so. It doesn’t miss many gestures, but it’s yet perfect.As long as someone understands the current limitations to the device, they should get plenty of enjoyment and usefulness out of it. If you’re looking to put it on your arm and immediately control any and everything with 100% perfect accuracy, then you might want to keep waiting.

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