It seems like every month there’s a new update about the Waterloo-based Thalmic Labs. First there was its $14.5 million Series A announcement, and then the launch of the startup’s developer program. And, what do you know, it’s August and they have yet another piece of news: Two new executives are joining the fledgling company’s ranks.
The reason I keep tabs is because it’s a truly fascinating startup founded by three university classmates. For the uninitiated, Thalmic is a 2012 Y Combinator alum with a pretty neat premier product. Its MYO armband is a yet-to-be released wearable wrist device claiming a multitude of use-cases. It uses motion-sensing technology, which measures electrical activity on the wearer’s wrist, to translate the movement data to perform tangible actions such as controlling physical objects or playing games. Since its initial reports, it has seemed like a potential leader in the wearable technology market. This update, however, makes no real mention about MYO’s progress.
Joining Thalmic are Mike Galbraith and David Perston, both of whom are coming from BlackBerry. Galbraith, who was BlackBerry’s Senior Vice President will be Thalmic’s Chief Financial Officer and Perston, formerly the mobile phone maker’s Senior Director of Global Technology and Services, will become the Vice President of Manufacturing.
All of this is positive news for the wearable device maker. The company is expanding rapidly and says it will have more than 50 employees by the end of the year. I asked Thalmic’s CEO Stephen Lake if he thought this heavy ramping up of new hires would change it’s college-founded tenor, and he didn’t think so. “We’ve been very careful to hire only those who we feel will mesh well with the company culture,” he told me.
But the real elephant in the room is: When are we going to hear an actual MYO update? Or better, when will we really see it in action?
Lake is keeping mum about the situation. He told me that he is “excited about the ideas developers have presented,” but the actual rolling out of the developer kits won’t happen until later this year. In addition, he has zero updates about when the actual consumer roll-out date will be. Back in June, TechCrunch reported that the official launch would be intended for late 2013; that now appears to be just relegated to developers
What’s more is that the company has already racked up more than 25,000 preorders of the device. Are we seeing a George Michael Bluth Jr’s Fakeblock redux? Obviously not. Lake maintains that there’s no delay in the development. “We still plan to have the first units shipping late this year, with a more widespread roll-out into 2014,” he wrote to me.
Whatever the case is, I hope the next Thalmic news item will be directly related to MYO, because that’s all anyone really cares about. And by anyone, I mean me.