Myo Maker Thalmic Labs Raises $120 Million, Teases “Next Era of Computing”

by Jamie Feltham • September 19th, 2016

You may know Thalmic Labs for its Myo armband. Based on the amount of money the company just raised and its own ambitions, you might know it for something completely different in the future.

The company today announced the completion of a $120 million Series B round of funding. It was led by Intel Capital, The Amazon Alexa Fund, and Fidelity Investments Canada. Announcing the news, company co-founder Stephen Lake said the money would “help us realize our vision for the next era of computing,” which will blur the lines between human and digital technology.

Lake also teased that the company had “new products” to share beyond Myo, which it would reveal soon.

When asked if Thalmic will be making VR specific products, a company representative told Upload “we can’t share specifics right now…the applications for Myo in VR have been immersive and impressive, and we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished here.”

The $120 million influx “will be used to fund growth and development of new and existing products. Specifically, we’ll be using this money to hire aggressively at our headquarters in Waterloo and at our new office in San Francisco.”

When asked about Intel’s involvement in the company, Thalmic said “we welcome the opportunities provided by our investors, and we will make decisions to integrate elements when it’s a mutually beneficial decision. As such, we have nothing official to announce with Intel at this time.”

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Myo itself is a gesture and motion control armband that launched a few years ago for $199. The device could not only register arm movements but also hand shapes to allow for more varied control of digital experiences. As Lake pointed out, it had some intriguing uses like translating sign language.

It was a peripheral that wasn’t specifically designed for VR, but presented another possible input solution for the Oculus Rift long before the company would reveal Oculus Touch. You can see it in action with a DK1 (yes, that early) in the video above. Ultimately, Touch’s mere existence meant that Myo and many other third-party controllers were never fully embraced by the VR community, but we’d certainly welcome another stab at a VR-specific controller with Thalmic’s new funding on board.

“This financing marks an exciting milestone for us, however, it’s just one step on a long journey ahead of us,” Lake concluded in his post. “Today is still day one. We wouldn’t be where we are today without our early supporters, our Myo community, and our investors.”

In general, Thalmic considers itself a company that is “moving towards a new era of computers, where the lines between man and machine are becoming more blurred. We have a mission to more closely couple people with technology in a way that becomes easier, less taxing, free of boundaries, and natural. We are working hard to create new technologies that help us achieve this reality.”

Professionals interested in applying for a job can do so on its official career webpage.

Featured Image: Business Insider

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