Kitchener-Waterloo

Time magazine reviews Thalmic Labs' Myo armband

Time magazine reviewer Lisa Eadicicco has put Thalmic Labs’ Myo armband through its paces, and finds the Kitchener startup's device is too expensive for a gadget but concludes it has potential - especially in gaming and productivity.
Thalmic Labs co-founder and CEO Stephen Lake shows off a prototype of the Myo gesture control armband. Initial sales of the armband were hot. The company sold out its first batch of 25,000 pre-orders in just a month, back in 2013.

Time magazine has tried Thalmic Labs' Myo armband on for size and while it concluded the Kitchener startup's $200 US device is too expensive to be used as an occasional gadget, it suggested it does have potential. 

In a review published Wednesday, the magazine's tech writer Lisa Eadicicco gave the Myo armband a lukewarm review, saying the device is "fun to use in some cases," but it didn't leave her "convinced that our gesture-controlled future is here just yet."

Eadicicco praised the device's short learning curve, concluding gaming is where the Myo "really shines" and praised how it interacts with Sphero devices, in particular. 

"Nothing I did with the Myo was as amusing as using it to control a Sphero device, which are spherical robotic toys typically controlled with a smartphone. There's just something that feels downright cool about being able to summon a tiny robot with the wave of a hand."

But Eadicicco said the device's strength is also, in a way, its Achilles heel. 

"Many of the apps in the Myo Market's gaming section are "connectors," or apps that let you use Myo with existing games. This is an excellent advantage if you already own these games, like Counter-Strike, World of Tanks, Saints Row V, and Skyrim, among others.

But if you don't have these titles and aren't willing to shell out the money for them, Myo's standalone game selection looks fairly limited."

The review concludes by giving the Myo armband 3 out of 5 stars. 

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