This is the first post in a series about using the Myo armband with smartglasses. Stay tuned to the blog for more posts about the future of smartglasses, input methods, and how to connect the Myo armband to smartglasses.
We’re big fans of wearable tech of all shapes, sizes, and uses. These new displays have created a need for new interfaces – and that need is an opportunity we’ve seized upon when developing the Myo armband. The wrist and arm are the hot spots for wearables right now, but look out – literally – smartglasses and heads up displays are going to be huge!
Three of these displays that we’re particularly excited about are Google Glass, Epson Moverio, and Recon Jet. You can see the possibilities of the Myo armband and these three devices via our YouTube channel where we showcase a few of the Myo and smartglass integrations that our partners have been building. From the seat of a bike messenger to the top of a windmill, here are five examples of the Myo armband at work.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll dig even deeper into each platform and share sample code for adding Myo armband support for each of these. But to start, here are our initial reactions after unboxing each of these new products.
The most well known (and most lampooned) smartglasses on the market today, Google Glass has become the defacto standard of wearable displays. Google Glass is operated with a combination of voice control and touch input. The headset has a touch sensitive panel right next to the main unit which you can use to navigate the menu system. Google Glass is a true heads-up display experience – allowing for an unobtrustive view of your smartphone notifications and providing developers with a platform to build augmented reality applications.
Since we’re really into gesture recognition, we decided to build our own Google Glass companion app that enabled control of the interface using a Myo armband. We’ll be sharing the code for this in a blog post soon.
Where Google Glass provides a quick glance to your digital world, the Epson Moverio is designed to provide an immersive digital experience. Epson has been making some noise with its entry into wearables – and the recently released Epson Moverio BT-200 is building up a lot of excitement. We were lucky enough to have one of our Alpha developers, Sean McCracken, also be an early Moverio developer. Here’s Sean at this year’s SXSW discussing Epson Moverio and the Myo armband.
We caught up with Sean as he was catching a flight to get his take on developing for Moverio –
“Moverio has a much better display for gaming, and can achieve a level of immersion that rivals the Oculus Rift. Both devices are challenged by their input systems… but that’s where the Myo armband comes to the rescue I believe. Hopefully soon, the Moverio will be upgraded to JellyBean and will be able to handle Bluetooth LE, because the Myo armband will open a lot of opportunities for rich immersive gaming.”
We’ve been working with Recon Snow for a while and recently the Recon Jet – and they’re two of the most exciting products available in heads up display technology. Built for active use (snowboarding and skiing), the Recon Snow2 offers developers a chance to build rich applications right into their heads up display. Recon’s upcoming Jet heads-up display extends to uses from the mountain to the road and even for deskless workers. Pairing the Recon Jet or Snow with a Myo armband gives users another input option that these tough environments demand.
Each of these technologies offers something unique for developers, enterprises, and users – which can make choosing which one to build for a daunting task!
To make that task a little bit easier, we’ve laid out each smartglasses technology in a handy comparison chart below. This will give you a quick summary of key product specs, input methods, and Myo armband “compatibility”.
|Google Glass||Epson Moverio BT-200||Recon Jet|
|**Operating System**||Glass OS (Android 4.4)||Android 4.0.4||ReconOS (Android 4.1)|
|**Inputs**||Head-mounted trackpad Voice Input Myo armband||Handheld trackpad Myo armband||Head-mounted trackpad Myo armband|
|**Myo Connection**||Direct, using Bluetooth 4.0||Indirect, using companion applications on a connected smartphone||Direct, using official Myo remote application|
|**Weight**||42 g||212 g, including controller||60 g|
|**Colors**||Shale, Tangerine, Charcoal, Cotton and Sky||Black||White, Black|
|**Connectivity**||Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 4.0||Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0||Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0|
|**Battery Life**||One day of typical use*||6 hours||4-6 hours, replaceable|
|**Audio Output**||Bone conductive transducer Output to mono or stereo earbuds||Stereo 3.5mm output||Integrated speaker|
|**Processor**||Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9||Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9||Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9|
|**Camera**||5 MP for photos, 720p video||0.3 MP (VGA) photo and video||0.9 MP (720p) photo and video|
|**Other Sensors**||Microphone, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor||GPS, microphone, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer||GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, pressure sensor|