A new Thalmic Labs product lets you control computers with hand gestures.
Motion control technology has not yet advanced to the point where you can summon a lightsaber with the power of your mind, but if you're ready to unleash a slew of other Jedi tricks, Thalmic Labs has a controller for you. A new armband called the MYO from the tech startup lets users control computers simply by gesturing. In addition to simple swipes, however, the device can read extremely subtle gestures, from snaps, to shapes, to the individual motions of tendons.
A video showcasing the MYO's potential demonstrates a wide variety of applications. Tasks like playing music and videos while engaged in activities that require both hands (like cutting raw chicken) seem commonplace enough, but the odd little controller aims for applications beyond the ordinary. Reloading and shooting at enemies in Mass Effect looks fairly intuitive, and controlling sound levels by the movement of individual fingers could make many an audio engineer's job much easier. The video even envisions military applications, as a serviceman controls a remote vehicle without the need for a complicated controller.
The system will retail for $149, and work on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android platforms. Whether it actually lives up to the smooth and instinctive reputation that the video builds, consumers will have to wait and see. But if all goes well, you'll be one step closer to manipulating objects through the power of the Force. Maybe next, the MYO can attempt to lift an X-Wing.