Recap: Gesture Tech & Wearables

February 11th, 2014  by Anna Starasts    No Comments    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Girl Geeks Toronto never fail to bring in some of the most impressive minds.

First up at Monday’s event on gesture tech and wearables was Sharon Fan, COO of GestSure – a company that has enabled surgeons to view patient’s imaging without even touching a screen.

The day before, GestSure’s technology happened to be featured in Microsoft’s Superbowl commercial.

Sharon Fan of GestSure

The company basically came about after Microsoft Kinect (sensor technology) was hacked.

One of the three founders of GestSure, Matt Strickland, was an engineer turned surgeon who figured that now that expensive sensor technology was cheap this was an opportunity see if he could use “the technology around him while scrubbed in the OR.”

While GestSure is in the medical device field, Sharon still describes the company as a tech company that happens to be in medical space.

That medical space has also meant big challenges like FDA and Health Canada approvals, as well as simply trying to sell the technology to surgeons.

Still with a unique value proposition involving time, cost savings and increased patient care, the company seems to have found its niche.

Andrew D'Souza of Bionym

Next up was Andrew D’Souza of Bionym – a company a spun out of the University of Toronto that uses ECG security (i.e. based on an individual’s heart rhythm).

Unlike a retina scan or fingerprint as a unique identifier, a heart rate can’t be replicated or mistaken.

Bionym’s big news actually came the day after the Girl Geeks event – a Bitcoin Wallet for their Nymi bracelet.

Andrew spoke of how this was an ideal time for a product like Nymi because of the convergence of four major trends we’re seeing:

  1. Personalization (e.g. Google searches)
  2. More wearable tech
  3. More biometrics tech (e.g. finger print)
  4. The Internet of things (e.g. Nest, connected cars)

Andrew believes that success in this type of space is dependent on whether you’re ultimately solving a pain point that people care about — something that is yet to be seen.

More on Nymi

The February 3, 2014 Girl Geeks Toronto was hosted at Bento Miso, an independent creative space worth checking out.

Diane Bégin @dibegin works at APEX and teaches at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. She’s a geek for communications theory and blogs at

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