Introducing the World's first smart earring & a discussion on designing wearables for women are the features of our February 2015 We Are Wearables Toronto event.
If wearables are going to succeed they need to be worn and in order for people to wear them they need to look a lot more fashionable. Fashion and design is a huge talking point around wearable technology right now especially when it comes to the female demographic. Many critics have recently suggested (http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2015-01-13/to-sell-wearables-to-women-first-make-them-feel-bad) that wearable companies are either making devices void of style or are using overly girly (http://mobilesyrup.com/2015/01/09/what-women-dont-want-want-the-wearables-at-ces/) and almost insulting designs. This month, we have put together a panel of experts specializing in Digital Culture, Fashion and Wearable Tech to discuss developing and designing Wearables for Women.
Prior to the panel, we will feature smart jewellery company Ear-O-Smart, the world's first smart earring which can monitor your heart rate, calories, and activity level. Ear-O-Smart President, Ravinder Saini will take to the stage to present the device and take questions from the audience.
In the demo area we have smart jewellery from Mellamor, BreqLabs an assistive technology and gaming wearable, voice operated computer Ubi, and Sensebridge makers of a haptic compass called North Paw and a heart beat pendant called Heart Spark. We will also be giving away ONE "Up and Running Kit" courtesy of OMsignal which is everything you will need to get started with your very first smart wear! To win you'll need to be at the event and Tweet!
**IMPORTANT: The bar (beer & wine) and pizza will be open from 8-10PM during the networking portion of the event only***
6:30-7:00PM: Doors Open & Demo Area
7:00-7:10PM: Opening Remarks
7:10-7:15PM: Wearable App Spotlight by CloudExchange
7:15-7:30PM: Presentation by Ear-O-Smart (Ravinder Saini, President)
7:30-8:00PM: Panel on "Wearables for Women" moderated by Amanda Cosco
• Dr. Isabel Pedersen, Canada Research Chair in Digital Life, Media, and Culture and Associate Professor at UOIT
• Shay Lowe, CEO/Designer of Shay Lowe Jewellery
• Ravinder Saini, President of Ear-o-Smart
• Ali Nawab, CEO and Co-Founder of Kiwi Wearables
• Jane McEntegart, Senior Editor at MobileSyrup
• Marie Mahony, Professor of Material Art + Design at OCAD
8:00-10:00PM: Bar Opens & Food Served during networking with demo tables featuring:
• BreqLabs assistive and gaming wearable gloves
• Mellamor Smart Jewellery
• SenseBridge haptic compass North Paw & heart beat pendant Heart Spark
• Neo by Ske Labs, the first smart Jar
• Ubi, the voice activated computer
• The Next 36, Canada's Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative
A big thanks to our sponsors MaRS Discovery District Centre, Uproar PR and CloudExchange for making this event possible.
About the Tech
Mellamor is the marriage of jewellery and smart technology. With an app you can control how your jewellery looks and what it does. With an endless variety of different colours, you can set your piece of Mellamor jewellery to be a new piece every day. For couples who miss each other when away, you can set your piece of Mellamor jewellery to glow whenever you are on your loved one's mind. Our mission is to enhance, expand and redefine the experience wearing jewellery. Smart technology is used as an essential medium along with the finest materials when we create our pieces. Through our work, we wish to enrich the lives of those who wear our jewellery.
BreqLabs is commercializing a novel and innovative sensor glove that can track hand position and gestures with high accuracy and almost zero latency. It can help provide the best computer gaming experience, implement hands-free computer access, training tools and simulators or assist people with pain or mobility limitations. Learn more about BreqLabs here (http://breqlabsinc.com/#about).
Sensebridge is a research and collaboration group based atNoisebridge, a hackerspace in San Francisco, California, and hacklab.to, a hackerspace in Toronto, Canada. We are concerned with human-machine interfaces and making the invisible visible. We aim to bridge our senses by augmenting our bodies with wearable electronics. We’re making ourselves (and you) into cyborgs!
We are currently offering a kit for a haptic compass called North Paw. We also sell a heart-beat pendant called Heart Spark. We’re in the R&D stage on at least three other sensory augmentation devices. Learn more about Sensebridge here (http://sensebridge.net/).
Neo by Ske Labs
SKE (Smart Kitchen Ecosystem) Labs makes sensor and cloud-based devices that enable users to connect to their kitchen, discover personalized content and shop with zero-touch.We reinvent common objects into smart things that transform everyday interactions into something more magical. Fusing disruptive technology with elegant design to create simple, meaningful change is what we do best. We know a kitchen is the heart of a home, and we strive to make it the smartest! Our first major consumer product, Neo, is the world’s first truly smart container. Built with Bluetooth connectivity and ultra-responsive sensors, Neo tracks what it’s got inside and what that means for your health. It shops when you are running low and syncs seamlessly with your fitness devices. It's a smart jar that thinks like you! Say hello to Neo at http://skelabs.com .
The Ubi is WiFi connected, voice operated computer that allows for handsfree voice interaction in your home. With Ubi, you can send short email, text messages, look up information, play music, control connected devices, and receive notifications, all by using your voice without needing to go to your phone or computer.
Ear-O-Smart is introducing a new segment in the wearable electronics market-the first smart earring. By combining fashion and electronics, you can now easily monitor your activity level without compromising on looks.The wearable market is expanding quickly, but the problem is that your options are very limited; most fitness monitors are limited to wrist based electronics. Would you want to wear a bulky wrist monitor to a party or on a date? We think not…We believe that wearable electronics should be embedded into the products we use in our everyday lives; for that reason, we created Ear-O-Smart. Learn more about Ear-o-Smart here (http://earosmart.com/).
About Our Panelists
Dr. Isabel Pedersen
Isabel Pedersen is a Canada Research Chair in Digital Life, Media, and Culture and is the director of the Decimal Lab at the University of Ontario where she also holds a position as an Associate Professor of Communication Studies. She is the author of Ready to Wear: A Rhetoric of Wearable Computers and Reality-Shifting Media, which explores how carryable, wearable, and implantable technologies impact the ways that people interact with one another and participate in culture. Her Decimal Lab is funded by a Canadian Foundation for Innovation Grant and she also holds a Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Grant for her research in reality-shifting media. Currently, she is researching critical dystopian film, transhumanist pondering, and brain interfaces that promise us futures that seem dramatically divergent from our current lives.
Marie O’Mahony is an academic, consultant, author and curator. Marie is Professor of Material Art + Design at Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U). Marie is also Visiting Professor at The University of the Arts, London. She is the Senior Editor for Material Futures with Stylus Fashion, an international trend, innovation and advisory consultancy. Marie was previously Professor of Advanced Textiles for Fashion Design at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Marie is a successful author in her field and has had six books published since 1994, five of these with Thames and Hudson. Her book sales are in excess of 20,000 copies worldwide with some titles appearing in translated editions. Published books are: Advanced Textiles for Wellness and Health, TechnoTextiles 2, Sportstech, Cyborg: The Man Machine, TechnoTextiles and 2010: Textiles + New Technology. Marie’s curated exhibitions include Cyborg: the Man-Machine at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; The Fabric of Fashion international touring exhibition for the British Council and TechnoThreads for the Science Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin. She is currently curating an exhibition on sportswear for DX Design Exchange, Toronto opening in the summer of 2015. Marie has consulted to Hussein Chalayan, VF Corporation, Zaha M. Hadid, UNStudio, Microsoft and NIKE. She has also served on the Australian Government’s Textile, Clothing and Footwear Innovation Council (TCFIIC).
Ali is the one of the founders of Kiwi Wearables. Kiwi's technology enables companies to rapidly develop wearable technology products. A computer scientist & MBA by training, Ali has engineering and management consulting experience for Fortune 500 clients across North America, Europe and the Middle East. Ali is an active mentor for aspiring entrepreneurs, and enjoys writing about entrepreneurship+technology. Learn more about Kiwi Wearables here (https://www.kiwiwearables.com/).
Jane has been writing about technology since 2007. In this time she has become keenly aware of how few women are influencing the devices that are being conceived of today and the struggle manufacturers face when trying to market to the the female demographic. Jane writes about the mobile industry for Canadians at MobileSyrup.com. Prior to this she spent seven years writing about the male-dominated world of PC building, benchmarking and overclocking for Tom’s Hardware. You can find Jane's articles on MobileSyrup.com (http://mobilesyrup.com/author/jane-mcentegart/).
Ravinder Saini is currently the President of BioSensive Technologies Inc. His latest invention “Ear-O-Smart” (Patent Pending) earring is creating waves across the globe with articles in Forbes, Yahoo, BBC, CBC News and coverage in almost evey regional language.
He pursued his Bachelors degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and later founded Worknosis (Tech startup that provides sensors for Workplace Safety) while pursuing his Masters degree. He started his professional journey by working for a start-up right after his bachelors degree and has managed and successfully executed several projects across Asia, including China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Oman and India.
Shay Lowe Jewellery is an award-winning designer jewellery and lifestyle brand. Shay Lowe Jewellery debuted on The Shopping Cannel in 2014. Shay is an Accessory Expert on Canada AM, has appeared on CityTV Breakfast Television, Cityline, and CBC Steven and Chris. Shay Lowe Jewellery won the Notable 2014 Award for Best in Fashion and was nominated for the Chatelaine Profit W100 Top Female Entrepreneurs in Canada 2014, and the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards. Her jewellery has been seen regularly on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and worn by celebrities such as Eva Mendes, Christina Hendricks, Miss Universe, and Miss USA. Learn more about Shay Lowe and the brand here (http://shopshaylowejewellery.myshopify.com/pages/about-us).
Amanda Rebecca Cosco (Moderator)
Amanda Rebecca Cosco is a Toronto-based freelance writer and multimedia journalist focused on city life and digital culture. She is passionate about telling stories with new media and investigating the role of the artist in the digital age. Her writing demonstrates interest in a range of subjects—from social media to social change—and she strongly believes that the former has the capacity to influence the latter. Amanda writes for The Globe and Mail, BetaKit and Girl About Toronto.
About Our Sponsors & Partners
MaRS Discovery District (http://marsdd.com/) is a mission-driven innovation centre located in Toronto. MaRS works with partners to catalyze, accelerate and amplify innovation. MaRS supports entrepreneurs building Canada’s next generation of growth companies.
Uproar PR (http://uproarpr.com/) is an innovative consumer technology public relations and social media agency. Along with their other technology practices, the firm has successfully built brand recognition for its wearable tech clients. Within the Toronto and Waterloo communities, Uproar works with Thalmic Labs, Bionym Kiwi Wearables and PUSH. With Uproar's media relations experience, those companies have been featured in media outlets including The Today Show, Business Insider, New York Times and CNBC, just to name a few. The firm specializes in developing campaigns that drive awareness and sales, creating industry buzz.
CloudExchange (http://cloudexchange.io/) is a white-labeled app store platform that connects you with your users and developers. Our simple and easy to use platform gets your branded app store and branded developer portal up and running quickly, no big budgets or custom code required, helping you get the very best apps into the hands of your users.
Northumberland CFDC (http://www.n100.ca) Launched in 2013 by Northumberland CFDC in partnership with Spark Centre, N100 is an annual $100,000 startup competition for early-stage technology-driven ventures. Powered by PitchBurner and sponsored by MathWorks, the competition is designed to hone high-growth potential startups that are on the cusp of attracting significant investor interest. And through a multi-stage competitive process running from March to July, N100 also offers concurrent entrepreneurial training and support including Pitch School and Board Room Simulations. Past winners of N100 are Unified Computer Intelligence Corporation (with Ubi the ubiquitous computer) and Linkitz (a modular wearable programmable electronic toy designed to get children into coding, electronics and STEM). Find out more and apply at www.n100.ca. Follow us @N100startups.
The Next 36 (http://www.thenext36.ca/) addresses Canada's deficit of high impact entrepreneurship by providing world class education, business mentorship and venture building programs to promising young entrepreneurs. It was founded by a small group of business leaders and academics and is championed by Founding Patrons W. Galen Weston, Paul Desmarais, Sr. and Jimmy Pattison. We believe that by fast-tracking the development of Canada’s most talented young innovators, we will help create industry-changing businesses and grow Canada's long-term prosperity. The Next Founders is the second program from The Next 36 and is designed for young founders of tech start-ups looking to scale quickly. For more information, please visit: www.thenextfounders.ca (http://www.thenextfounders.ca/) and http://www.thenext36.ca
Jessica Fan (http://www.jessicafan.ca/) is a UX designer, entrepreneur, and sketchnote artist. She is currently a Partner at Pixelbot - a digital agency focused on magnifying the impact of forward-thinking organizations through human-centered design and technology. She has a passion for solving problems that matter, and is the founder of two edutech companies - Penyo Pal and SnapLingo. Jessica is a proud alumna of The Next 36, and has previously worked at Adaptive Path, Tsinghua University, and Google. Follow her @jess_fan or visit her website www.jessicafan.ca
Interested in speaking at or sponsoring the event? Want to join the team? Or have some feedback? Email Tom Emrich at [masked]