Can the “force” really control your gadgets?

Myo picks up electrical signals to detect movement

(CNN) – The power to move objects with your mind, or a gesture is something we’ve seen in the worlds of fantasy, or the Jedi universe of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. But here in reality it’s coming one step closer.

I’m trying out Myo. This band that you put around your arm, and it reads your gestures. And it actually lets you to control devices around you. With Myo, I’ve been able to turn the volume of the television set up and down. To rewind and fast forward a video. I’ve been using Myo with a toy car, actually moving your arm to move this little car left, right and make it spin. And with video games. This, I can see being really popular and taking off with gamers.

Aaron Grant, Co-founder of ThalmicLabs, says, “There’s two types of sensors. The first one tracks the motion and position of your arm. And that’s similar to the sensors that you find in basically any smartphone today. And then the second and the more important sensor for us is the muscle sensor. So that’s these eight pods, each of those is reading the electrical activity that occurs when you do something like make a fist, or spread your fingers. And that’s from your brain actually sending that electrical signal down to your arm and the Myo picks those up.”

Samuel Burke, CNN: Long term, what are your hopes and dreams for Myo? What might it be able to do in the future with time?

Grant: Interacting with things like the internet of things, or wearables, or other things like virtual reality, augmented reality and all these new kind of non-traditional devices, where input solutions like mouse and keyboard or even voice and touch don’t necessarily work that well.

I can see how this technology will take off one day, but I don’t think we are there yet. It didn’t detect every movement, and there were some glitches along the way. Only with time and people using it we would be able to know if the motion is thumbs up or this thumbs down.

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