It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since Waterloo’s Thalmic Labs announced the development of its game-changing Myo armband. Even the most jaded, skeptical watchers of the tech space couldn’t help but think, after watching that first Youtube video showing the Myo in action, “That is cool.”
Since then, a lot has happened, including Thalmic Labs opening up the Myo’s API and asking developers to brainstorm new uses for the device, and then the pushing back of the product’s eventual release date. While delays are never a good thing, particularly if you were among the device’s early purchasers and are still waiting, it has become pretty obvious that the team at Thalmic Labs weren’t interested in hustling out a final product before it was ready.
Thalmic Labs ended up receiving over 10,000 applications from developers eager to find new applications for the first-of-its-kind armband. The device has virtually limitless applications, from gaming to medical to military to virtual reality.
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And now that Thalmic Labs has finally given the world a glimpse of the market-ready version of the Myo, you don’t need to consult a review to conclude that the wait was worth it. You only need to take one look at the thing.
More sleekly designed than what they’re now calling the “Myo Alpha” armband, Thalmic Labs has decreased the device’s thickness by half and reduced its weight to 95 grams, as well as increased its design cool-factor. “To make this possible, we had to spend a tremendous amount of time perfecting a new type of advanced manufacturing process, and testing many materials to find one that met all of our specifications,” they wrote in a blog post announcing the new version.
The new Myo armband promises increased sensor performance, with an upgrade from copper to medical grade stainless steel.
With the surprise sweep by hardware developers at the NextBC Tech Showcase, upsetting all the heavyweight software and “as a service” companies they were competing against, as well as the frenzy around wearable tech, one wonders if the perfect conditions for a hardware renaissance aren’t brewing in Canada, with companies like Thalmic Labs, D-Wave, General Fusion, OMsignal and InteraXon leading the charge.
Myo developer kits will begin shipping next month, and the product itself, perhaps the ultimate stocking stuffer for the gadget freak in your life, will ship in September, retailing for $149 US.
Those wanting to find out more about the Myo can question Thalmic Labs co-founders Stephen Lake and Aaron Grant directly in a Google Hangout on June 16 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST. RSVP required.