Last week the prolific Toronto-based tech event organizer FITC hosted a daylong summit on wearable technology. Given Toronto has established itself as one of the hotter nodes in North America for churning out high-profile hardware projects, and the local clustering of wearable-related startups like InterAxon, Thalmic Labs, and Bionym, the venture sought to capitalize on local know-how and entrepreneurial acumen. With a lineup bookended by ‘the father of wearable computing’ Steve Mann and Social Body Lab founder Kate Hartman, the invited speakers offered a range of opinions on ‘what’s next for wearables?’ for an audience of curious developers.
Given he was assembling clunky wearable prototypes in the early 1980’s and has been ‘wearing a camera’ in one form or another for three decades, it was not surprising that Steve Mann received a hero’s welcome from the audience. Starting off with an anecdote about being inspired by the perception-altering qualities of a welding mask when he was young, Mann briskly whizzed through the evolution of his Digital Eye Glass that he had been working on since 1978.