Waterloo, Ontario’s Thalmic Labs has announced the opening of an office in San Francisco and the hiring of Tara Kriese, former Senior Director and Head of Marketing at Samsung Electronics America, as the company’s Chief Marketing Officer.
The expansion is in indicator of the fact that Thalmic Labs has doubled its size during the last 12 months, while its flagship device, the Myo armband, which works by reading electromyographical (EMG) impulses in a user’s forearm muscles to control a variety of digital devices, including computers and mobile phones, finds traction in an increasing number of applications.
“Tara is uniquely skilled at developing disruptive market opportunities, and we’re excited to begin leveraging her expertise as we take a big step in expanding the company,” said Thalmic Labs co-founder Stephen Lake. “She’s a leader in identifying new markets, segments, channels and trends, with expertise in emerging product categories as reflected in all her accomplishments in her career.”
In her 15 years of marketing consumer technology and services, Kriese led marketing efforts in the U.S. market for Samsung’s virtual reality portfolio, overseeing the launch of Gear VR, Gear 360 and the Samsung VR service, for which she is credited with growing Samsung’s market share and establishing its position as a virtual reality category leader.
Previous to her role at Samsung, Kriese held consumer and product marketing roles promoting Digital Products for Amazon, Bing and Windows Live at Microsoft and AIM at AOL.
“Thalmic Labs has already revolutionized the wearable technology space with the introduction of gesture control technology and the Myo armband,” said Kriese. “The company is eager to expand into new markets with a strong team of leaders and developers, and I am excited to utilize my experience in marketing emerging technologies to help Thalmic Labs in the next stage of its journey.”
Thalmic Labs also plans to bring in new employees in the fields of engineering, sales, marketing and business development for their San Francisco location, with plans to further expand their Waterloo workforce.
Thalmic Labs was founded in 2012 by University of Waterloo Mechatronics Engineering program graduates Stephen Lake, Matthew Bailey and Aaron Grant.
The Myo armband has found widespread acceptance in a variety of applications, including by researchers at Johns Hopkins University who used it to allow an amputee to control a robotic hand, by surgeons in Spain who are using Myo armbands to navigate medical slides while performing surgery, by researchers at Arizona State University who are using Myo armbands to translate American Sign Language, and by DJ Armin van Buuren who uses two Myo armbands to control the music and lights in his stage show.
In June 2013, Thalmic Labs closed a $14.5 million Series A round of funding, led by Spark Capital and Intel Capital.
While the company is exclusively known for the success of its Myo armband, Thalmic Labs appears to be exploring an expansion into other wearables, as last month the company filed a U.S. patent application for “Systems, devices, and methods for eyebox expansion in wearable heads-up displays”.