Thalmic Labs (Myo) is a company that participated in the YC W13 cohort of Y Combinator and raised an estimated $135,632,011.Thalmic Labs sold the Myo Gesture Control Armband that measures and records electrical impulses given off by muscles using electromyography (EMG) sensors for the purpose of controlling other devices wirelessly with gestures and motion such as making a fist or stretching fingers out. The armband was used by a medical team at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, Maryland, to give a patient more control over his prosthetic forearm.
In Autumn 2018 Thalmic Labs announced that it would end sales of the Myo Gesture Control Armband, and that it would make and sell smart glasses, which they had been developing since 2014. The glasses are called Focals and the company changed its name to North Inc. They are the first company to embed a holographic film into the lens. When a tiny projector beam hits the holographic film, it bounces to the retina, at the back of the eye. Images are displayed on the retina and there is no screen, so the content you are viewing is not visible to those around you. The eyewear must be custom fit by scanning the face of customers to produce a 3D model. The Focals are controlled by voice or a small toggle at the side of a ring on the index finger and they are linked to the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth. The smart glasses were designed by eyewear designer Marie Stipancik from Clearly Contacts. The product is available in two boutique showrooms, one in Toronto and one in Brooklyn.