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Thalmic's (YC W13) MYO draws 10,000 preorders in 2 days (communitech.ca)
147 points by TonyReinhart 1692 days ago | hide | past | web | 45 comments | favorite

Here's some amusing trivia: the source on this article, Communitech, rejected Thalmic from their "Hyperdrive" accelerator program shortly before the company was accepted by YC. Something about "we don't think people will like it".

Suffice is to say they've been kicking themselves ever since.

We did get rejected from Hyperdrive. It was pretty early on, however - last Spring.

Aw! That sucks! Woulda been awesome to play with the MYO.

I want two of these and Google glass. Seems like a match made in heaven.

Should be able to get Silent Messaging going, straight out of Vernor Vinge's "Rainbows End"


Throw in this thing for good measure: http://www.theaudeo.com/

Wow. What a frustrating website to learn about a product. It took forever to try and figure out what this does and how it works.

The homepage should have a description and a demonstration video.

Instead, it has a vague explanation and the only video that worked (the YouTube videos were set to private) was a video presentation at a conference which took forever to get to an actual demo.

For those that are wondering, apparently you can speak very silently (or not at all) and the computer will pick up what you're trying to say and repeat it louder in a synthesized voice. I think??

Sorry about that :P If you're curious about the technology, it's called subvocalization and they aren't the only people working on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subvocal_recognition

Subvocal comms? That's straight out of Niven & Pournelle's _Oath of Fealty_


I think what you meant to say is two of these and an Oculus Rift headset.

I'm not sure how I missed this earlier, but this is the first YC company in a long time I'm genuinely excited about. This is as close to telekinesis as I'm likely to get, and I want it, dammit.

I wonder if it would work for amputees. I.e. do you need an actual hand in order for the signals to be processed correctly, or would imagining your hand's movements be enough?

"A myoelectric prosthesis uses electromyography signals or potentials from voluntarily contracted muscles within a person's residual limb on the surface of the skin to control the movements of the prosthesis..."


It depends on the level of the amputation (and which muscles Myo is capable of recording). The muscles that move the fingers are conveniently located in the forearm, so a transradial amputee could potentially make use of it.

They should give free test units to the people who are making the open source hand prosthetics [1].

That could make such an immeasurable difference in people's lives.

[1] http://comingupshorthanded.com/

Does anyone know if the API can/will provide the raw EMG measurements? (I work in a lab that does this kind of recording with wired electrodes. A robust wireless interface that spits out the full bandwidth signal would be quite a useful research tool).

Anyway, even if it doesn't, I think this will still be awesome.

We're evaluating this - haven't announced either way yet. There are a few reason we wouldn't - namely power usage if we have to transmit that data over BT.

Will there be an optional wired connection or at least the ability to use MYO while charging?

Genuine question - have preorders always been this popular? Or are they a relatively new thing? It seems that Kickstarter has really changed people's perceptions of purchasing a product. People seem much more willing to pre-buy something like this.

Either way - this thing looks great. Can't wait to try it myself!

This is also a bit different from Kickstarter - we're not actually taking any money up front. But it's a tool to show and estimate demand, and get potential user feedback before a product is fully manufactured and ready to ship. This way we'll be able to work with thousands of developers early on before the units ship.

My bet is this is a short lived trend, like other buying mechanism; coughgroupon.

Wow, looks like a great product. If it works as seamlessly as the concept video suggests this could be a huge hit. I find this product more interesting to me than Google glass. I'd consider preordering but there are too many unknowns at this point and the website is kind of vague.

I wonder if the rumored apple "watch" is similar tech.

I've seen their [EDIT: concept] video (below) and it was wildly successful in getting me excited about the product. The video combined with the tagline "UNLEASH YOUR INNER JEDI" definitely gave me goosebumps.


The MYO, its name derived from the Greek myos, for muscle, instantly measures electrical activity in muscles and connects wirelessly to computers, smartphones and other electronics, enabling users to control these devices with a simple wave of the hand.

Some of my engineer friends have serious doubts as to how well this technology will actually work (haters gon' hate?) but nonetheless I will be rooting for the guys at Thalmic. Good stuff.

>Some of my engineer friends have serious doubts as to how well this technology will actually work (haters gon' hate?)

That's unfair. It's fully possible to want something to work, while having serious reservations about the technical feasibility of it.

Is this a demo video or is this a concept video? I can't find anything on the site to say one way or the other.

Appears to be a concept video to me.

I'm pretty sure it's a concept video. I will edit my post above accordingly.

The founders are all Mechatronics grads from uWaterloo, so they know what they're talking about.

I haven't heard about it before and oh boy I'm so excited now as I wasn't in a long time about a piece of hardware. If it really will work as good as advertised, and I think it's very possible it will, this will be huge.

I don't see how it can distinguish between normal use of your hand/arm and a control gesture. Perhaps in the midst of a video game, you are gesturing full-time, but the other examples seem more dubious to me.

It has a special unlock gesture like your phone.

That's a good point. Maybe you would have to do a particular gesture to get it "live"? But I'm just speculating here

I remember reading that they've selected a gesture that isn't likely to happen naturally to enable or disable the device.

Have they given any indication of what stage in development they are in? Do we know this thing works yet? I couldn't find any mention on their site.

I've tried it. It's really friggin cool. (My team's desks are right next to their's)

You will be hiring 200 RIM engineers next year if there aren't delays and problems.

With 200 RIM engineers we'll be sure to have delays and problems ;)

Joking, of course...

Are there any more specific release timelines outside of 'by the end of 2013'?

Their concept video was definitely interesting, but is there any video of an actual demo? (Or, since the company seems to be answering questions here, is one planned?)

For the record, a friend of mine ordered one and was told he was roughly number 9500. (Basically 10,000, but I thought I would put in my 2 cents)

That's great that they are a YC company. I hope they do something together with boosted boards, that would be incredible.

That would be amazing, even though the boosted boards remote seems kind of awesome on it's own.

Would anyone like to guess as to how long I would have to wait to receive one if I were to pre-order it now?

FAQ says MacOS and Windows are fully supported + iOS and Android API support.

What are the plans for Linux down the line?

They say "under consideration". Some of us are taking matters into our own hands, as much as we can. #MyoForLinux on Twitter.

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