2014 has sure been a fantastic year for We Are Wearables. We began our journey at the start of this year in Toronto with a dream to bring together the tech community to help move the wearable tech space forward together. Our community has grown to over 2,300+, 2 cities and with 12 events under our belt. A big thanks to our sponsors, partners and to YOU, the community, in helping shape this movement and make it a success.
Before we start the new year, I thought I'd take some time to recount my favourite moments of 2014. There really are too many to chose from, but for the sake of keeping this post short, I've created a list of 10 amazing moments we've all shared together this year.
10. Kiwi Wearables Gestures in Our First Ever We Are Wearables Event
This list would not be complete without remembering our very first event in Toronto. It was a chilly night in January when over 150+ from the tech community gathered together at the newly opened Lab on Queen Street West. Our first event featured a CES recap from TechCrunch's Darrell Etherington and a presentation from Kiwi Wearables, masters of motion and gesture.
9. Thalmic Labs Kicks off Our First Event at MaRS By Flying a Drone With Their Hands
Our March We Are Wearables Toronto was the first event held at our new home at the MaRS Discovery District Centre. What better way to inaugurate our new home then to fly a drone with your hands. Yep you read that right. Thalmic Labs's Director of Developer Relations, Scott Greenberg, demoed the gesture-control armband, Myo by piloting a Parrot AR drone around the event space.
8. GestureLogic Pushes the Pedal to the Metal to Unveil LEO
Ottawa's GestureLogic pumped up the energy at our May We Are Wearables Toronto event when they brought a stationary bike on stage to unveil and demonstrate its fitness intelligence wearable, LEO. LEO directly monitors muscles, heart rate, hydration levels and other bio-signals to provide simple and actionable recommendations to users in real-time.
7. Toronto Gets "Glassy" at the First Google Glass Reunion
Six of the original Canadian Google Glass Explorers took the stage in August to recount their first year wearing smart glasses on the streets of Toronto. Moderated by Tech Editor, Daniel Bader, the Explorers talked candidly about what they used the heads-up display for, what they would change and if they still wore the device regularly.
6. Wearables Hit the Runway at Toronto Men's Fashion Week
We Are Wearables partnered with Toronto's first Men's Fashion Week (TOM*FW) this summer to bring wearable tech to the runway. This event paired wearable tech from MeU, InteraXon, The Social Body Lab, Vega, UTOPE and MakeFashion with designer clothing from Sons of Odin and David C. Wigley in a first-of-its-kind show. It also featured a digital lounge which showcased tech from Nymi, Thalmic Labs and Martian Smartwatches.
5. eSight Shows Us How Wearable Tech Is Changing Lives
Ottawa's eSight presented its smart glasses technology at the Toronto event in July which was dedicated to exploring how wearables could augment our human capabilities. As part of its presentation the company introduced us to Yvonne Felix, a mother and artist who is living with low vision from Stargardt's Disease. Yvonne took the stage to candidly tell the audience the story of how eSight changed her life.
4. The Wearable Tech Revolution Heads South of the Border
Toronto's sister city, Chicago, was selected as the first US city to host a We Are Wearables chapter with the first event taking place in November seeing over 200 people come together at tech hub 1871. The event featured local wearable tech companies such as RIthmio and AMPY and tech giant Motorola whose headquarters is stationed in the Windy City.
3. Hexoskin's CEO Strips Down To His Smart Underwear
Hexoskin's smart shirts have been used by Olympic athletes, space agencies and race car drivers to help them monitor their activity, heart rate and breathing. To show us the Hexoskin smart shirt in action, CEO and Founder, Pierre Fournier, literally stripped on stage at We Are Wearables Toronto in June.
2. Nymi Shows Us Some Love By Demoing The Nymi Band in a World Exclusive
The Nymi Band is set to change the landscape of identity, payment and personalization with its ability to authenticate its wearer using their unique cardiac rhythm. Back in April, the team at Nymi gave the We Are Wearables Toronto community a world exclusive demo of a working prototype of the Nymi.
1. Pouring Beer with Our Mind Using the Brain-sensing Headband Muse
In September, InteraXon held its Toronto launch of its brain-sensing headband, Muse. The company transformed the lower concourse at the MaRS Discovery District Centre into a wearable wonderland complete with a Zen Bubble and Beer Keg you could control with your mind.
This year could not have been made possible without the help of our sponsors and partners. A huge thank you to Uproar PR, CloudExchange, Big Rock Labs (Reach), CFC Media Lab, Juice Mobile, Intel Canada, MobileSyrup, BetaKit, BNOTIONS, Normative, Motorola, TELUS, Project Owl, The Lab, 1871, MaRS Discovery District Centre, Quick Attack Productions, Belighted and Filmscape Productions.
Happy Holidays Everyone!
Viva The Wearable Tech Revolution!