Team 6 – MYO… Conversation

Team 6 photo

The Need:

Many people who live with a chronic health condition suffer from reduced capacity for movement, and as such there are many daily tasks that are difficult to perform unassisted. Rehabilitation can also be impaired, and without one to one therapy support then getting back to original capacity can be a tall order. As is often the case, therapy support is limited, and as such thechnology can be used to augment the physical contact that a client may have with a therapist.

Apart from rehabilitation and other medical / health contexts, controlling aspects of daily life can be challenging for those with reduced movement. Technology can be used to mediate for us, and allow us to work around difficulties or even obviate them.

The teams 4, 5 and 6 all used a brand new piece of technology from Thalmic Labs called MYO – a gesture control tool for interpreting the movements of a person’s arm; sensitive enough to recognize individual gestures of the hand. Interpreting these gestures and translating them into commands for software allows for potentially revolutionary approaches for assistive technology.


The resources for teams 4, 5, & 6 centred around the MYO armband. Each team had a development kit, and software engineers were part of the team structure. This meant that prototypes of the concepts could happen quickly. The teams also had access to the ‘more conventional’ design tools available to the other tools.

Double Diamond

The Process:

Team 6 followed a thorough design process to ensure that the participant voice was heard, and the time was used effectively. The concept from Team 6 used the MYO armband to enhance the quality of life for people who are unable to speak. Current technology for enabling speech via a computer is slow to react to often fast-paced conversations.

The Output:

Team 6 prototyped a system that allowed for gestures to be mapped to phrases that could be activated quickly – allowing for the user to participate in conversations in a far more casual manner than current technology allows.

Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University,
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