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.

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Watch Joseph Song play Air Guitar with gestures

Watch Joseph Song play Air Guitar with gestures

Air Guitar is an Android application that allows users to simulate playing a guitar by strumming in the air while wearing a Myo armband. Holding a phone in their idle hand, users change chords by pushing buttons on a digital “fretboard” and use the speakers from the phone as an amp.

Air Guitar “fretboard” mapped to C, G, Em, and D.

You can choose between two keys — G and C — and pick four chords from a list of six — C, Dm, Em, F, G, and Am. With these inputs, you can play practically any pop song.

Air Guitar began the way most of the earliest applications for the Myo armband have, as a hackathon project. Utkarsh Garg (Georgia Institute of Technology), Shubhagata Sengupta (Wilfred Laurier University), Joseph Song (Temple University), and Aawantika Sahu (Georgia Institute of Technology) joined forces for 36 hours to give people a mobile, gesture-controlled way to rock out.

After the hackathon, Song and Sahu decided to keep Air Guitar alive by putting it in the Myo Market and working with Thalmic Labs engineers to add richer gesture control and a host of new features.

“We’re currently adding some more features that we think the users would enjoy,” says Sahu, in his second year at GT researching wearable technology. “I’m making the app more user friendly and adding a record function, so people can share songs.”

“I’m adding more customization by having more chords and a better chord build,” says Song, the developer with the most Myo experience in the group. “I’ve worked with Myo at hackathons before, creating a traffic indicator for bicycles and Elements, an Avatar-themed VR game. For Air Guitar, I’m tuning the sensitivity of the Myo armband when strumming so users can adjust the volumes and mute when needed.

“The Myo armband is extremely powerful,” he says of working with the device. “It’s been a pleasure working with it. I hope to continue to, and that it becomes more mainstream in the future.”

When asked which trends in tech have them most excited, these young developers give the same reply without missing a beat: “Wearables, definitely.”

Air Guitar is now available for download in the Myo Market.

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