We Are Wearables headed to Canada's capital on June 23. Hosted in the heart of the market downtown Ottawa at Systemscope, the Ottawa tech community rallied together to demo wearable tech from two local startups and hear from some of the pioneers and thought leaders working in wearables in the city.
The night kicked off with a warm welcome from Ottawa organizer, Jen Greenberg, who talked about being inspired to start We Are Wearables Ottawa (WWOTT) after attending WEST: Wearable Entertainment & Sports Toronto conference in Toronto.
First up to present was Leonard MacEachern, President and CEO of GestureLogic who presented his fitness intelligence wearable, LEO. Len explained how LEO moves beyond the "status quo" which is currently "wrist-wrap fitness monitors that offer limited insights and recommendations" ushering in a new category of wearables: performance wearables. LEO is designed specifically to solve the needs of a cyclist who want to go faster for longer and need to be more informed about their training to do so . LEO is a tool to better inform athletic training providing sophisticated physiological performance measurements and coach-level analytics and insights leveraging the many onboard sensors including EMG which measures muscle effort. To demonstrate this, Len and his team demonstrated LEO in action in real-time.
Following the presentation and demo from GestureLogic was a panel discussion on the wearable scene led by UNTETHER.tv founder Rob Woodbridge. Joining Rob as part of this discussion was Leonard MacEachern, CEO & President of GestureLogic, Kyle McInnes, Director of Maker Space North and Lee Silverstone, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Gymtrack. Rob's first question to the group of wearable leaders in Ottawa "Does Ottawa have what it takes to be a leader in wearable tech?". Len quickly responded by saying "we are doing it now" while Lee chimed in to say that "it is as good a place as anywhere" noting that Ottawa has some valuable resources but that startups today can find success in any city by leveraging technology to do so.
When Rob asked the crowd how many of them were thinking about starting a wearable startup, almost one third raised there hands. The panel discussion shifted to talk about some of the challenges in starting a wearable startup with both GestureLogic and Gymtrack telling their stories on how they began. Lee was extremely transparent on how "building something that is scalable and strong is not easy" but rewarding, "the highest high I've ever felt is someone using my product and telling me they like it, that is the legacy I want to leave," he said.
The night ended with some hands-on time with GestureLogic's LEO and Gymtrack's connected devices for the gym along with some social arduino fun with the LED fireflies brought in by Lumipendant.