Building Myo armband gesture control into your Google Glass application

This is the second post in a series about using the Myo armband with smartglasses. Here, we’ll show you how simple it is to combine the Myo armband and Google Glass with our Myo Android SDK.

In our first post, we highlighted some of the ways that developers are using the Myo armband with today’s leading heads-up displays: Epson Moverio, Recon Jet, and Google Glass. These technologies may seem exotic by today’s standards, but consulting giant (and Thalmic partner) Deloitte predicts that global shipments of smartglasses will be in the tens of millions by 2016 and surpass 100 million by 2020. If you know Deloitte, you know they aren’t in the business of making frivolous predictions.

Heads-up displays represent a new paradigm for interacting with technology. As it stands, you usually have two main ingredients: a screen that displays information (usually a monitor or phone screen) and a way to interact with that screen (usually a keyboard, mouse, or touchscreen).

Combining the Myo armband and a pair of smartglasses takes these basic ingredients into science fiction territory by throwing out everything attached to the ground. The screen goes with you seamlessly, feeding you information as you navigate your environment without distracting you from seeing the hazards that could risk your life (even if you aren’t behind the wheel).

The keyboard and mouse go with you too, but radically reimagined by the Myo armband. Instead of making you push buttons, the Myo armband reads the electrical signals in your muscles, giving you control no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Desks everywhere tremble with fright.

Check out this dinosaur
Check out this dinosaur.

Probably the most well known heads-up display, Google Glass, was one of the first we were able to get in our hands (and on our heads). While Glass comes with an on-device touchpad and accepts voice commands, the Myo armband offers immersive gesture control for this futuristic display. Wave to navigate between screens, point and click with a clenched fist, snap photos by spreading your fingers… the list goes on. It works silently on a crowded subway car and seamlessly on a noisy factory floor, gloves or no. Smartglasses are getting better all the time at talking to your hands.

We’ve included sample code for controlling Google Glass with the Myo armband in Beta 2 of the Myo Android SDK – available for download here.

With the sample code, you can easily add Myo armband controls to your existing Google Glass applications. The mapped gestures are:

Google Glass gestureMyo armband gesture
Swipe Rightsolid<em>blue</em>RH<em>wave</em>rightWave Right
Swipe Leftsolid<em>blue</em>RH<em>wave</em>leftWave Left
Tapsolid<em>blue</em>RH<em>fistFist
Swipe Downsolid</em>blue<em>RH</em>spread<em>fingersSpread Fingers
Launch Appsolid</em>blue<em>RH</em>pinky_thumbThumb to Pinky
How are you combining Google Glass and the Myo armband in your plan for world domination?