With hopes of adding its Myo armband's contextual controls to wearable devices, Thalmic Labs is partnering with Google's Glass division and two other smart glass producers.
Thalmic Labs' Myo armband translates arm and hand gestures, in lieu of spoken word and manual device manipulation, which can help users working in noisy environments or in situations where hands get dirty.
"Smartglasses remove barriers to accessing the information and communications needed to effectively and efficiently perform the job at hand," said Stephen Lake, CEO and co-founder of Thalmic Labs. "Now, the Myo armband frees up your hands to unlock the full value of smartglasses. The Myo armband uses subtle hand gestures to instantly interact with applications on smartglasses, without needing to remove gloves or pull out a secondary controller."
Thalmic Labs has partnered with Google, Epson Moverio and Recon Instruments. The Myo could be especially useful for wearers of the Epson Moverio and Recon Jet, because, unlike Google Glass, neither of the products support voice input.
Thalmic Labs has released a Myo companion app for Google Glass and said it will share the code with developers soon.
For Moverio development, Thalmic Labs has been working with Sean McCraken. The developer worked on early builds of the Moverio before creating software for the Myo and he said he believes the Moverio's smart glass rivals Facebook's Oculus Rift.
"Moverio has a much better display for gaming, and can achieve a level of immersion that rivals the Oculus Rift," said McCraken. "Both devices are challenged by their input systems, but that's where the Myo armband comes to the rescue I believe. Hopefully soon, the Moverio will be upgraded to JellyBean and will be able to handle Bluetooth LE, because the Myo armband will open a lot of opportunities for rich immersive gaming."
Recon Instrument's Recon Jet and Snow devices were designed with extreme sports in mind. Thamlic Labs said it hopes the Myo facilitate more control over heads up displays for help snowboarders, skiiers and other athletes that engage in extreme sports.
"We're big fans of wearable tech of all shapes, sizes, and uses," said Thalmic Labs. "These new displays have created a need for new interfaces - and that need is an opportunity we've seized upon when developing the Myo armband. The wrist and arm are the hot spots for wearables right now, but look out - literally - smartglasses and heads up displays are going to be huge!"