Bluetooth LE: With Nordic Inside Wearable, Your Arm Is The Controller

Nordic Semiconductor confirmed today that the Myo, an armband that uses Bluetooth LE to turn your arm into a gesture controller, utilizes their using nRF51822 2.4GHz System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the Bluetooth low energy wireless connectivity.

The armband, which will ship in 2014 for $149, is the world’s first muscle activity electromyography-based gesture control device. With it, a user’s forearm controls a computer or computer-controlled device wirelessly by hand and arm movements alone by reading electrical signals produced in the muscles of the user’s arm and cross referencing this data with a 9-axis inertial measurements unit (IMU), which includes a gyroscope, magnetometer, and accelerometer.

There Is No Offline

The device is a potent reminder of the first thing we need to understand as we consider a world of beacons and connected devices: there is no offline. I spent 10 minutes just watching the videos on the Myo site – happy people cooking meals, giving presentations, and controlling remote-controlled planes. Each of the examples were a reminder that the future has already arrived, and in it there’s nothing so banal that it can’t become an interface: cutting vegetables or walking your robot are each part of the new digital landscape.

The Thalmic Labs CEO concurs:

“As a company, we’re interested in how we can use technology to enhance our abilities as humans – in short, giving us ‘superpowers’.” explains Stephen Lake, co-founder and CEO of Thalmic Labs on the motivation behind Myo. “We’re excited to see how the Myo blurs the lines between us and digital technology.”

“We believe the Myo gives people a much more natural way to control technology,” adds Sameera Banduk, Marketing Director at Thalmic Labs. “And we see the future of human interface and control being wearable.”

Developer Kits Available
The armband might look slightly dorky but it does some sweet things, and Thalmic Labs invites developers to dive in to create their own connected apps.They feature a full SDK, sample code and documentation to those who apply for their early access program.

In a world of connected devices we’re not far from controlling the world around us with our brains. In the meantime, the Myo reads electrical signals produced in the muscles of the user’s arm and cross references this data with a 9-axis inertial measurements unit (IMU), which include a gyroscope, magnetometer, and accelerometer.

Connect the device to beacon-aware or beacon-broadcasting devices in the world around you, and you start to sense a world in which not only are we the controller, but the world itself can be controlled.

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4 Responses to “Bluetooth LE: With Nordic Inside Wearable, Your Arm Is The Controller”

  1. How can you create a page that just doesn’t work in Safari? None of the links work in Safari!

  2. Paul – first, thanks. That is so bizarre but I appreciate you letting us know – but we’re not able to replicate the error. Not sure what links aren’t working? Can you confirm – mobile or Web? Will look into it – I love Safari and it’s how I view the site so I really want to make sure you have no trouble accessing the content!


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