Thalmic Labs launches Myo developer alpha program, adds BlackBerry’s Alex Kinsella to team

Kitchener-based startup Thalmic Labs is shaping up to have a big 2014. Our CES hands-on with its gesture control armband, Myo, left us quite impressed after it was easily able to handle a Call of Duty session. Even in its early state, we thought the device was “extremely polished, stable and functional.”

At the time, Thalmic was seeding alpha units of the Myo to select developers. Last week, Thalmic announced a full-scale alpha program, where developers can register to get early access to the device, as well as the Myo developer kit, which the company expects to ship in the first half of 2014 (the Myo is still on track for commercial release later this year).

This week, Thalmic Labs added noted former BlackBerry employee, Alex Kinsella, to the team. Kinsella has extensive product management experience, having previously acted as a PM for BlackBerry App World and BBM, in addition to a stint on BlackBerry’s Developer Relations team. Note the disclosure below, but the switch is a huge loss for BlackBerry and a huge gain for Thalmic. At CES, Thalmic Labs Co-founder Aaron Grant teased that the Myo wasn’t the only device being developed at the company, so it will be interesting to see if Kinsella is working on the Myo or an unannounced project (we’ve reached out to Thalmic for comment).

Disclosure: Alex Kinsella and I worked as co-workers at BlackBerry for three years between 2009-2011. I find him to be ever capable and sometimes hilarious.

[source]Thalmic Labs[/source]