Every so often, we will post information about services, solutions and products we become of that we believe others will find interesting. The first in this series is Myo- the Gesture Controlled Armband. Myo is a one-of-a-kind product that allows users to interact with different software and/or hardware by means of a wearable armband. The Myo armband uses the electrical activity in your arm’s muscles to wirelessly control your computer, phone, and other digital technologies.
The possibilities of Myo seem endless, and Discover Technologies features it in this week’s blog post because of its awesome potential with accessibility software. As you may know, Discover Technologies developed Discover Access for SharePoint™ to make SharePoint usable for people who are blind. This is important because in 1998 the US Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals.
Myo’s simple technology could greatly enhance our 508 software for it could eliminate the blind’s need to rely on keyboards. If programmed and integrated correctly, Myo could very well become classified as section 508 compliant assistive technology. To a visually impaired user, 98% of the keys on a keyboard are the same. By using Myo, a blind technologist could turn on their computer, open programs, and use our Discover Access for SharePoint™ without having to touch a single key on their keyboard. Visually Impaired users could listen to websites by means of JAWS and play videos with simple hand gestures.
Myo is definitely breaking boundaries as it bridges the interactive gap between man and computer. Even though its target audience is not the visually impaired, Myo has substantial potential to make information more easily accessible for those in need. Thalmic Lab, the developers of Myo, is currently accepting pre-orders at $149 per armband, and expects to deliver their product in September 2014.