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.

4 minute read

Myo @HacktheNorth

Myo @HacktheNorth

36 hours.

That’s it. Every single hack for the Myo armband you see in this video was made at Hack the North — the largest international hackathon in Canadian history — in just 36 hours. It’s mind-boggling to think about what these hackers will make when they have some real time to sink their teeth into the Myo armband.

And boy were they excited to get their hands on it. We brought over 80 Myo armbands to the event and couldn’t hang on to them for more than five minutes at a time. Of the ten winning teams, three had hacked with a Myo armband: a pretty crazy figure when you see how much hardware they can use. We’re excited to follow their progress: most of them are students right here at the University of Waterloo. They could start companies that foster a revolution in how human beings interact with technology.

Just like we did.

The teams in this video:

In order of appearance:

Myo Solidworks Controller

Team: Rahul Mehta, Oswin Rodrigues, Ayodeji Ige, and Fan Zhang.

These guys, seen in the video chatting with @srlake and showing off their Solidworks controller, did something the smartest hackers and inventors do: they created a product they wanted to use. They made the Myo armband into an immersive controller for Solidworks so they could show off their own engineering creations in style.


Team: Pierce Stegman, Matthew Kaufer, Rushi Shah, and Muaaz Masood.

We love these guys. We just do. A team mostly from Thomas Jefferson High School in Virginia — that’s right, high school — these guys have become masters of the Oculus Rift and Myo armband combo. They were one of the ten winning teams from Hack the North with Spacebowl, but I couldn’t get over their hack from Penn Apps!


Team: Jared Baribeau, Raunaq Suri, and BradyK12.

This team made an infrared blaster, just like a regular remote, but handed all the control to the Myo armband. This combination lets you use the Myo armband as a universal remote, controlling any device with an infrared receiver (so anything you could control with a remote now). All they had to do was point and gesture.

The Grasslands

Team: Tyler Adams, Ethan Tang, Victor Szzeto, and Eddie Zhang.

An unbelievably detailed and immersive fantasy video game played with Oculus Rift and the Myo armband. Did I mention that these were made in 36 hours? Astonishing. Also cool that the entire team is currently in second year Computer Engineering at UWaterloo, just getting started!


Team: Kenny Song, Justin J.M. Kim, Megan Parsons, and Jason Cho.

A break from the wackiness, Tremedic got us thinking about new possibilities for the Myo armband. This clever team realized that using a Myo armband for gesture control really meant wearing hospital-grade sensors all day. If those sensor readings were sent to a physician, you could offer an immediate lifeline to a Parkinson’s sufferer in trouble.


Team: Andrea Zagar, Adam Bell, David Nisenbaum, and Andrew Simpson.

Using data from the Myo armband to determine your jogging pace, Rush automatically loads songs that keep you in stride. Most people hate when a slow song comes on during a jog, and they’re forced to fumble for control while moving. Rush not only queues up songs you want to hear, it lets you flip seamlessly between them with your Myo armband on the move. They tackled a totally practical problem and everyone at Thalmic Labs wants this one on their phone.


Team: Andrew Andrade, Phil Everson, Logan Shire, and Tom Price.

Pandr is a loveable little Panda who lives on your phone and is sustained by your exercise. You name your Pandr, customize them, feed them jumping jacks throughout your workday, and love them. Oh how you love your Pandr. The catch is that if you don’t exercise and your Pandr dies, you can never reuse it’s name. Goodbye forever, Dr. Bartholomew Q. Fuzzybottom, I’ll never forget you :'(.


Team: Nicholas Kee, Matthew Pitropov, and “Blueberryteeth”. Ahem, moving right along.

Get it? Arm band?

This application uses MIDI control on the Myo armband to turn your arm into an instrument! Different regions of space relate to different notes, so seeing someone use it is like watching a kind of dance that involves sci-fi technology.

Myo Muscles

Team: Michael Parrott, Samuel Yuen, Andy Au, and Jack Ye.

This team made the Myo armband into a fitness trainer: it rumbles when you’re showing poor form! They did an awesome job making the Myo armband recognize when exercise form was broken, a really tough task we were impressed they tackled.

Open Pokemon

Team: Edward Yang, Jack Gao, Kevin Nguyen, and John Liu

This demo was jaw-dropping: a smartphone app that turns your life into POKEMON!! You encounter monsters when you actually run into them by walking through the world, and catch them with your hands using the Myo armband. You can even challenge your friends in real life. I want this game on my phone so badly it’s stupid.


Team: Tobias Gu, Jakub Dworakowski, and Varun Jacob-John

This team devised a way to control multiple connected devices with the Myo armband using another wearable: a Pebble smartwatch. Seamlessly flipping from one device to the next, they keep all the activity on one arm so control for technology is never out of reach. AWESOME hack.


Team: Arman Ghassemi, Aaron Lo, Gabriela Morgenshtern, and bqiu.

This team took an idea from our concept video and made it real. Full, touch-free control for Youtube playback with gestures. Grab control of the volume and twist it down, or wave in and out to scrub through the video. Very cool to watch this in action, and offers a ton of convenience for instructional videos.

Are you a hacker featured in this post? Would you like updates to any of the information herein? Just email

Feature image source:

You've successfully subscribed to The Lab!