TORONTO, April 29, 2014 – An air-hockey-playing robot, immersive augmented-reality gaming headgear, a host of wearable tech pieces, 3D scanning and printing devices, new medical marvels and robots galore are just some of the Ontario-made innovations on display at the 2014 edition of Ontario Centres of Excellence’s Discovery trade show and conference.
Discovery is Canada’s premier innovation showcase. This year’s event takes place May 12-13 in the South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and will be the biggest in its nine years with more companies and exhibitors than ever and more than 100 investors seeking ventures to support.
“Discovery features the best and brightest from industry and academia along with investors and young entrepreneurs showcasing leading-edge technologies, best practices and research. It is also a place where lasting business connections and investment opportunities abound,” said Dr. Tom Corr, president and CEO of OCE. “We are excited to bring all these important members of Ontario’s innovation ecosystem together to showcase the many great things happening in this province.”
Every year, Discovery attracts thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors highlighting ground-breaking work in sectors like cleantech, advanced health, digital media, information and communications and technologies and advanced manufacturing. (NB. A list of other showcase highlights is attached). Discovery also brings together companies from across the province including Northern Ontario which will have nearly 30 companies represented.
“The quality and calibre of the companies and talent on display at Discovery are truly inspiring,” said Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation. “Our government is committed to ensuring that Ontario continues to be a leader in the knowledge-based economy and that our young people in particular have the support they need to build companies and advance their careers. Their ideas and courage will drive job creation and build Ontario’s future.”
This year, Discovery will feature two complementary keynote events that bring Silicon Valley insights and expertise to Ontario.
On May 12, Discovery opens with a main-stage keynote presentation by senior faculty from Silicon Valley’s Singularity University – founded by past Discovery presenters Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil.
Salim Ismail, Global Ambassador and Founding Executive Director, and Brad Templeton, Networks and Computing Chair, will share their thoughts on exponential technologies, their intersections and impact on economies worldwide. They will then present on such areas as computation, artificial intelligence and robotics, 3D printing, biotech, nanomaterials, energy and more during two sessions from 4 to 6 p.m. Both are graduates of the University of Waterloo.
Silicon Valley returns to the main stage on May 13 with a keynote presentation from one of the region’s founders, gurus and godfathers; serial entrepreneur Steve Blank. In a rare Canadian appearance, Steve will appear via closed circuit on the main stage for a moderated conversation and Q&A session. The Harvard Business Review recently declared him one of the “12 Masters of Innovation”, alongside Thomas Edison and Clayton Christensen.
Discovery 2014 will also host the launch of Revelo Electric’s flagship vehicle, LE-1 (Lite Electric-1), the world’s first lightweight, compact and chainless e-bike with a dual mode front pedaling system. Already a recipient of significant attention and rave reviews for its prototype, the LE-1 was designed with one goal: to redefine how people think about sustainable and greener modes of transportation. Revelo, an OCE-supported company founded in 2012, aims to become the leader in disruptive technology, spearheading a global shift to better, greener ways to move around an urban environment.
Other new and returning features at Discovery 2014 include:
Ask an Expert – This event allows aspiring entrepreneurs to connect with some of the more than 50 expert investors, entrepreneurs, innovation agents, professional services and export specialists to gain knowledge to advance their company or launch their ideas or product.
Young Entrepreneurs Zone – This zone is sponsored by OMERS and will feature about 100 of Ontario’s most promising companies run by young people.
Career Zone – This zone offers students a free service offering job postings, resume tips and evaluation, interview preparation and a chance to meet with top employers and get advice from professionals.
International Delegations – A delegation from China of more than 75 major companies, investors and senior government officials looking to connect with Ontario life science, medical device, cleantech, new materials, ICT, energy and smart grid companies. There is also a delegation from India attending.
Panels – This year’s panels will engage attendees with discussions on topics like Hyperconnectivity and the Internet of Everything and Cybersecurity - Issues and Opportunities, Innovative Technologies for the Healthcare System, and 3D Manufacturing – Beyond the Hype.
Perimeter Institute – Discovery welcomes the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Chief Operating Officer, Michael Duschenes, will provide an overview of the Institute and Dr. Damian Pope, Senior Manager of Scientific Outreach and Dr. Martin Laforest, Senior Manager, Scientific Outreach with the Institute for Quantum Computing, will talk about our quantum future.
Connect @ Discovery – This year, Discovery attendees will be able to engage like never before. Connecting with speakers, experts, delegates, exhibitors, and sponsors on the day of, or in advance, of the conference will be possible through a new feature in our mobile app called Connect @ Discovery. With Connect @ Discovery, attendees can search a list of other conference attendees and exhibitors, find individuals to meet with, read their profiles, and send them a private message before, during and after the event.
Named Canada’s Best Trade Show 2010 and 2011, OCE’s Discovery is Canada’s premier innovation showcase. It brings together the best and brightest minds in industry, academia, investment and government to showcase leading-edge technologies, best practices and research in the areas of energy, the environment, advanced health, digital media, information and communication technologies and advanced manufacturing. The annual conference and showcase attracts more than 2,500 attendees and 350 exhibitors to the 200,000-square-foot show floor.
For more on Discovery, visit www.ocediscovery.com
About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc.
Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario’s global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario’s industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and government ministries. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, information and communications technology, digital media, advanced materials and manufacturing, agri-food, aerospace, transportation, energy, and the environment including water and mining. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario’s Innovation Agenda as a member of the province’s Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up of regional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs and industry rapidly grow their company and create jobs. For more information visit www.onebusiness.ca
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Select showcase highlights for Discovery 2014
ABB Robotics – Air Hockey Playing Robot
ABB Robotics has a uniquely Canadian take on advanced robotics – a robot that plays air hockey against a human player. The software used to control the robotic arm was developed in Ontario and the device shows not only the dexterity and speed of modern robots, but the ability to respond to and interact with moving objects.
Sulon – Cortex
The Sulon Cortex transforms the user’s physical environment into an interactive, fully immersive world. The Cortex utilizes a proprietary spatial scanner, processor and visor mount to create contextually-aware augmented virtual reality experiences right in the user’s home or immediate surroundings. The Cortex connects to Android smartphones and utilizes the phone’s hardware to render graphical images, as well as the phone’s camera to create a stereoscopic display. This allows for reduced costs and a completely wireless experience. Developer kits are now available for pre-order and will likely be shipped towards the end of 2014.
Unconquered Sun Solar Technologies - Solar Golf Cart
Unconquered Sun Solar Technologies has created a solar powered golf cart kit that can be mounted on to any existing electrical vehicle. The cart uses a Bluetooth-enabled digital “smart” gauge to not only display how much power is remaining, but to also actively measure the storage of solar energy. These carts are carbon neutral, making them perfect for sustainable golf course management and reducing energy costs by up to 75%. The carts continue to charge while in use, increasing the range of the vehicle by up to 30% and extending overall battery life by 50%.
CFC Media Lab (Google Glass)
CFC Media Lab will showcase four unique apps for Google Glass: A to B is a fun, user-oriented app that records routes a user takes on a daily basis and lets you race against their recorded routes or other users. Little Bandits transports two players to an old-fashioned Western stand-off where they must choose two moves per turn – aim, shoot or dodge – and watch their duel unfold. SHARD lets users apply live filters to the world around them and lets users capture, save and share their sights and creations to social media. State of Syn: Singularity, is a full-length action-puzzle game that puts users into the role of a hacker fighting to save the lives of a group of freedom-fighters.
Sweep3D will be showcasing a portable hand-held scanner that can be waved around an object or person to render a 3D model. This technology can be connected to a laptop via USB to instantly process and render a 3D image or it can be connected to an Android tablet to process and render the image in a few minutes via the Sweep3D cloud. The applications of this technology are limitless, including scanning body parts for healthcare applications, scanning full bodies for fashion and virtual apparel fitting, mapping 3D spaces and reconstructing crime scenes. Sweep3D provides an affordable, accessible means of putting the power of 3D into the hands of every user.
Bublcam (360 Camera)
The bublcam is the world’s most innovative 360 degree camera. A compact, sleek and spherical device, the bublcam is able to capture 100 per cent of the spherical range in one digital “bubl˚.” The device utilizes unique software that allows users to remotely look up, down and all around the camera, as well as adjust brightness, contrast, saturation and zoom levels. Users can then share their photos and videos through Dropbox, Google Drive and Younity from directly within one of the bubl software apps. Bubl player software is currently available for desktops and desktop browsers as well as in beta on iOS. Bubl plans to roll out the software on Android and WebGL platforms in the future.
Thalmic Labs – Myo
Thalmic Labs brings together some of the world’s top engineers, researchers and designers to bridge the gap between human and computer interaction. Thalmic Lab’s flagship product, the Myo, is a “one size fits all” armband that lets users use the electrical activity in their muscles to wirelessly control their computer, smartphone and other digital technologies using a variety of hand gestures and arm movements. Thalmic Labs has received more than $5 million in pre-orders for the Myo.
Kiwi - Move
The Kiwi Move is a multi-use wearable device capable of running sensor based apps that capture, record and assist with everyday activities. Kiwi Move tracks your movement, from footsteps to sleep patterns, which conveniently tracks one’s daily lifestyle. Kiwi Move also gives users the power to control household appliances and smartphones using specific hand and arm gestures. The internet-enabled device can track temperature as well, making the Kiwi Move the ideal everyday assistant.
InteraXon - MUSE
InteraXon’s MUSE headband can’t read a user’s mind, but it can read a user’s brainwaves. The MUSE uses seven different sensors to measure brain activity and electrical activity along the scalp. Not only can the MUSE be used to control smartphones and other computers with a user’s thoughts, but the sleek, stylish headband can also be used to help anyone train their brain to enhance mental performance. The highlight of MUSE is its ability to address and reduce a person’s mental and emotional stress. With stress-related illnesses accounting for up to 75 per cent of all doctor visits, the MUSE has a significant impact on both health and productivity.
SE3D Interactive/Oculus Rift simulation
Dreaming of flying your own plane? With SE3D Interactive’s virtual reality flying experience, users can explore the skies from the comfort of their own home. Combining innovative software with the Oculus Rift headset, SE3D has developed a flying simulation that will connect body and head tracking to enable a player to control a virtual aircraft in an immersive virtual experience.
Ubi, the ubiquitous computer, is a digital assistant that plugs into a power outlet and connects directly to the user’s home WiFi network. The Ubi contains two microphones, speakers, indicator lights and sensors allowing users to conveniently interact with and control WiFi enabled devices using voice commands. The Ubi lets users look up facts, send quick messages and even monitor one’s home thanks to its temperature, humidity and air pressure sensors. From alarm clock to baby monitor to thermostat, the Ubi truly represents freedom from devices and wires.
Bionym - Nymi
Bionym is revolutionizing the way people carry identification through its uniquely developed Nymi, a wearable authentication device that uses a person’s cardiac rhythm to authenticate their identity. The Nymi is the first of its kind, combining identity with motion control while also providing privacy, trusted security and convenience. The intelligently designed, lightweight wristband is equipped with an ECG sensor with two electrodes and a six-axis motion sensor that encompasses simple gesture recognition and user input allowing a person secure access to their identification records or password-protected devices.
Lynxio (Michael Vaughan)
Bridging the gap between physiotherapists and patients, the Lynxio is a uniquely designed knee protection brace that provides patients with an empowering healing experience. The Lynxio uses digital learning tools to allow patients to track and record their physiotherapy regimen as well as ensure that patients perform their exercises correctly, speeding up the healing process and reducing the risk of further injury due to incorrect performance of rehabilitation exercises.
Gesturelogic - LEO
GestureLogic is developing state-of-the-art wearable fitness technology that provides anyone involved in physical activity key insight in to how to enhance their athletic performance. The technology proficiently analyzes muscle activity, heart rate and fatigue through sensors that relay the information collected to a smartphone. This information can then be used with unique software to measure true muscle output and optimal techniques to excel in any workout or sport.
Impakt Protective - Shockbox
Impakt Protective designed and created Shockbox, an innovative and affordable helmet-based sensor technology for individuals enrolled in sports. Shockbox is strategically designed to measure the magnitude and frequency of impacts to the head during sports activities. This groundbreaking technology provides athletes, parents, coaches and athletic trainers with information to detect a concussion promptly. Once the impact is detected by the helmet wireless sensor, it is then relayed to a smartphone where the severity of the impact is measured, tracked and recorded, providing a proactive solution to the widespread problem of concussions.