We've seen plenty of far-fetched EMG-based input methods, like the concentration-demanding, head-based NeuroSky
controller, but Microsoft Research is asking for a patent that involves much simpler gestures -- and might actually make a bit of sense. As demonstrated in the video after the break, Microsoft's connecting EMG sensors to arm muscles and then detecting finger gestures based on the muscle movement picked up by those sensors. It does away for the need of a pesky camera (or Power Glove) to read complicated hand gestures, and can even sense modified versions of the gestures to be performed while your hands are full. Microsoft's developing a wireless EMG sensor module that could be placed all over the body, and while like all Microsoft Research projects this seems pretty far from market, there's a small, optimistic part of us that could see some of the benefits here for controlling mobile devices. And boy do we love controlling mobile devices.