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Moving in a Smart World: Gesture Tech & Wearables

With technology pundits and trendsetters claiming they'll be as disruptive as the the smartphone, it's hard not to be curious about the new frontier of gesture technology and wearables. While smart watches and wristbands (like the Nike FuelBand or the trendy Fitbit) have already been adopted by many tech-savvy consumers, there's plenty of reason to believe that the next wearable wave will have bigger implications and adoption rates than we've ever seen before. Is this just a fad for 30-something, Google Glass-wearing Silicon Valley-types? Or are these gadgets that will fundamentally change the way we interact with and experience the world around us? This month, we're bringing together a few fantastic experts to break down the nuts and bolts of their wearable products and show you just what all the fuss is about.

May we formally introduce our esteemed speakers:

***Please note that due to last minute circumstances Dr. Foteini Agrafioti is unable to attend the event. In her place, Bionym's President Andrew D'Souza will be presenting the story of Bionym and Nymi.***

Andrew D'Souza

Andrew is the President of Bionym, makers of the Nymi, where he is responsible for all aspects of go-to-market including platform, business development, marketing and fundraising. Prior to joining Bionym, he was the COO of Top Hat, a leading mobile learning platform for the classroom. In his two years with the company, Andrew led the efforts to raise over $11M in financing, opened offices in San Francisco and Chicago, grew the organization from 15 to 80 employees, secured strategic partnerships with the world's largest education companies, and recruited a world-class executive team to usher the company into its next phase of growth. Andrew has been an advisor to a number of multiple high-growth Canadian startups and accelerators, and is also frequent contributor on entrepreneurship and technology to publications including VentureBeat, Mashable, Business Insider, The Globe & Mail, Techvibes and the Toronto Standard. 

Andrew will share the story of Bionym's origin and growth, from its transition of its technology from the labs of the University of Toronto to the marketplace. He’ll tell us the story behind their first product, Nymi, a wristband that authenticates the identity of the wearer using their unique cardiac rhythm (ECG), offering seamless access to smart devices and physical spaces, as well as enabling a hyper-personalized user experience. Andrew will also share the company’s vision for the future of wearables.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrewdsouza, @bionym, @nymiband

Sharon Fan

Sharon Fan is COO of GestSure, a medical technology start-up that allows surgeons to control operating room imaging touchlessly using gestures. A former engineering consultant with a background in Biomechanics from the University of Waterloo, Sharon has taken GestSure from regulatory approval to initial sales and now an established US office.

Sharon will discuss the phenomena behind commercial sensors (Microsoft Kinect, Leap Motion, etc.) which has opened the door for gestural interfaces in under-served environments such as healthcare and medicine. She will also share the challenges in developing technology for hospitals, fundraising in the US and growing a start-up.

Follow Sharon on Twitter @shfantastic, @GestSure

Special thanks to our partners who help make the evening great: 

Our partners

Digiflare is a digital agency at the forefront of creating engaging connected user experiences. We harness the potential of Web, Mobile, Tablet, Connected TV, Game Consoles, and emerging devices to deliver cutting-edge solutions to our clients. Working with top tier Media and Entertainment brands, we provide strategy, design, development, and systems integration, helping them achieve their vision and extend their reach to their customers. Follow @Digiflare on Twitter and visit digiflare.com.


Jobspring Partners is a professional recruitment and placement agency with operations in BostonPhiladelphiaWashingtonNew York, ChicagoSan FranciscoSilicon ValleyLos AngelesOrange County, CA, and Toronto, Canada. We specialize in technology hiring for both permanent and contract positions, and have made over 30,000 successful technology hires since 1989. Follow @JobspringCanada on Twitter and visit jobspringpartners.ca.

Our supporter

FITC produces design and technology events worldwide which inspire, educate and challenge attendees. We've got two tickets to FITC Toronto April 27-29 to give away at our next event to two lucky attendees! Didn't win? You can still receive $100 off tickets with code "GGTO". Follow FITC on Twitter @FITC and visit fitc.ca.

SYPA (Stuff You'll Probably Ask)

You: What time do the presentations start?

Us: Doors open at 6:30pm and we begin the talks at 7:00pm. Before and after the talks, there are opportunities for conversations, and the enjoyment of refreshments and hors d'oeuvres.

You: Hors d'oeuvres, you say? Is there dinner?

Us: We always organize food and beverages for everyone, be it sandwiches or hot appetizers. Come hungry.

You: Why the $10 fee?

Us: All monies collected go directly to bringing you a top tier experience with notable speakers each month. Some months we get help with sponsorship and others months we do not, so the small fee balances out over the year and ensures that the events can continue to grow. Food and refreshments are provided each month and vary based on the venue. Your $10 directly goes towards covering the costs of food, drinks, thank you gifts for our speakers, hosting of our web spaces and other costs incurred to run events. We are a non-profit group run by volunteer organizers and we do not make money through this group.



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  • Pamela W.

    Great event last night - thanks for organizing it. Any chance there could be follow up workshops where we can try out all the different wearable technologies?

    1 · February 4, 2014

    • Caroline C.

      I'd be interested in it too, Murray!

      1 · February 7, 2014

    • Pamela W.

      I'd be very interested - not sure about everyone else :)

      February 7, 2014

  • Lauren C.

    I was thoroughly impressed by the quality of both speakers and their presentations - I came in expecting to be told wearables were the future without any solid reasons why, and instead left genuinely enthused about what these technologies will do to make my life easier and more awesome. A great experience for my first Girl Geeks event!

    2 · February 4, 2014

    • Caroline C.

      Thank you for the great feedback, Lauren. Glad to hear the event exceeded your expectations and look forward to having you back again!

      February 6, 2014

  • Murray M.

    For the benefit of this particular meetup group, and those folks interested in health care I wanted to share a relevant event happening in Montreal in February. Having been involved with the Toronto Hacking Health event I can guarantee this Montreal version will be highly successful. Wearables in healthcare will be BIG.

    See: www.hackinghealth.ca

    1 · February 4, 2014

    • Maryse

      Hey Murray, I'm one of those folks - though I won't be able to travel to Montreal. I presume your in the wearables in healthcare space as well? Would be great to connect! Find me on LinkedIN.

      February 5, 2014

  • Ahmad N.

    sadly had to leave early, but with the YouTube channel, I can catch up later!

    3 · February 3, 2014

    • Ahmad N.

      promise to stay longer next time and give tours of the Glass to whoever's interested!

      1 · February 3, 2014

    • Caroline C.

      That would be great, Ahmad, thank you. I spoke with a few people who were interested in asking you questions about the Glass, and am sure some would love to try it out!

      1 · February 4, 2014

  • Itir D.

    It was very interesting and well organized. Thank you Girl Geeks TO :)

    1 · February 4, 2014

  • Murray M.

    Highly Motivating speakers, with real war stories and great vision.

    February 3, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Interesting speakers, good organization, not enough seats.

    February 3, 2014

  • Mike E.

    The big takeaway for me was the guts required by the presenters to go toe to toe in the medical tech arena and biometrics field respectively, best of luck to both firms I would bet on you.

    2 · February 3, 2014

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