On August 5 the We Are Wearables Toronto community gathered to learn how wearable tech and other emerging technologies are making an impact on people with disabilities and chronic illness. The event highlighted wearables that are helping people walk, see better, and even save lives.
Ekso Bionics' CEO and Co-Founder, Nathan Harding, kicked the evening off with a remote presentation from California who talked about how the company is enabling people to walk again with its bionic exoskeleton suit. Harding was followed by a presentation by Dr. Graeme Moffat of InteraXon makers of the brain-sensing headband Muse, who talked about the coming revolution in brain health which is being serviced by wearables which make scaling medical research and study more attainable than ever.
Founder of Neutun, Eric Dolan, took the stage to present a smartwatch app which tracks seizures of people with epilepsy which is finding success especially with people who care for children and seniors with this condition and Peterborogh's Michael Zinn showcased his use of Drumpants to empower people with ALS, Cerebral Palsey and stroke who are unable to speak or have low mobility to use sensors to communicate with the world.
Cornelius Quiring gave a very personal presentation on how a farm injury which left him with low mobility in his right arm inspired his journey to build a hand exoskeleton. Quiring focused his talk on the need to design for the individual rather than the disability and encouraged companies to create assistive technologies that are just as pleasing to the eye as they are effective in their function.
The final presentation of the night was from Matt Ratto who talked about his work in making prosthetics for the developing world.
Following the presentations, eSight ambassador Yvonne Felix, joined the presenters in a panel conversation on the impact of wearables on disability. Yvonne spoke candidly about her viewpoint on disability in today's world stating "I don't see disability anymore as we are all disabled without our tech. We are not disabled we are bionic".
Visual Talks was at the event to sketch all of the learnings and highlights from the night and we have the sketches for you below.