North (formerly Thalmic Labs), the creator of the Myo armband, was acquired by Google in June 2020. Myo sales ended in October 2018 and Myo software, hardware and SDKs are no longer available or supported. Learn more.
This post is a part of a series featuring members of our developer community*. Stay tuned to our developer blog for more featured developers and other news about developing for the Myo armband!*
How many push-ups can you do? A team from MHacks, a hackathon at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, wanted to build an application with the Myo armband that encourages people to live active, healthy lifestyles. Read more about how they built Push-Up Ninja, an application that counts your push-ups.
From the beginning we knew we wanted to work with hardware -- something only one of us had experience with. We played around with a few pieces of tech and thought about how we could use them to make something inspiring. Nothing quite fit, but once we started working with Myo and started playing around with the mouse/keyboard control option, pretending we were Tom Cruise from Minority Report, we knew we wanted to use it. Myo was a blast. It was unique, it was accurate, and it allowed us to do things we couldn’t have done with any other hardware provided.
Our goal was to influence people to improve their lives in some way. Since Myo works primarily by tracking muscle movements, we oriented our project around fitness, and in time settled on Push-Ups as the main focus.
We interpreted raw muscle data and figure out how to measure the muscle configurations necessary for the multiple stages of a push-up. In essence, we had to mathematically define a push-up.
We successfully managed to create a web-app with a working push-up counter that communicates with the Myo armband, but due to a domain name conflict we weren’t able to put the app online. In the future, we hope to do just that and expand upon Push-Up Ninja functionality by adding access to more long-term statistics, direct feedback both during and outside of workout sessions, and an exercise planner that takes the current athletic level of the user into account.
We look forward to a future with cheaper and more accessible wearable tech; smartwatches will become the norm in upcoming years, and we suspect technology such as the Myo armband could be connected to or even incorporated inside of them. As a result, we’ll be able to plan out our lives with more flexibility than ever before, and adapt on the go.