Thalmic Labs is coming to Silicon Valley.

The Waterloo-based gesture control armband maker announced today that it would be opening a new office in San Francisco – and to boost its big tech bona fides, it’s hired a former Samsung marketing executive to run its marketing and communications division.

tara-kriese-portrait
Thalmic Labs’ new chief marketing officer, Tara Kriese, is a 15-year tech industry veteran, most recently with Samsung.

Tara Kriese, a Bay area tech industry veteran who most recently spent two years as the senior director and head of marketing at Samsung’s U.S. division, has been appointed as Thalmic’s chief marketing officer, while the San Francisco office will include engineering, sales, marketing, and business development staff.

In a Sept. 12 statement, Kriese said she looked forward to helping the company expand into new markets.

Founded in 2012 by a trio of University of Waterloo mechatronics engineering graduates, Thalmic Labs is best known for its Myo armband, a wearable device that allows users to control computers, phones, and other digital technologies using their wrists.

During her tenure with Samsung, Kriese led U.S. marketing efforts for Samsung’s virtual reality portfolio, including the launches of Gear VR, which now boasts more than one million monthly users, and the Gear 360 spherical camera.

Prior to Samsung, Kriese’s 15-year career in tech has included consumer and product marketing roles at Amazon, Microsoft, and AOL.

In a statement, Thalmic Labs co-founder and CEO Stephen Lake said that Kriese was uniquely skilled in developing disruptive market opportunities, and that the company was excited to begin leveraging her expertise it takes a big step in expanding to the U.S.

Thus far, developers have integrated Myo’s open-source detection technology, which translates the electrical impulses between a user’s brain and their muscles into computer commands, with technologies smart glasses and prosthetic limbs.

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