Eyetap was invented 40 years ago by Steve Mann, who is known as the father of wearable computing. It is one of the earliest form of smart eyeglasses design, and its influence can be seen on many commercially available wearable products. With this Open Source Eyetap project, we are sharing the recipe that’s considered as “secret” by many companies, because we believe that the future of wearables will be from the hand of makers.
Prof. Steve Mann, PhD (MIT), P.Eng. (Ontario), is widely regarded as “The Father of Wearable Computing” [IEEE ISSCC 2000]. His work as an artist, scientist, designer, and inventor made Toronto the world’s epicenter of wearable technologies back in the 1980s. In 1992 Mann took this invention from Toronto to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, founding the MIT Media Lab’s Wearable Computing project as its first member. In the words of the Lab’s founding Director, Nicholas Negroponte: “Steve Mann is the perfect example of someone… who persisted in his vision and ended up founding a new discipline.”. Mann also invented the smartwatch videophone (wearable computer) in 1998, which was featured on the cover of Linux Journal in 2000, and presented at IEEE ISSCC2000, 2000 February 7, where he was named “The Father of Wearable Computing”. Some of Mann’s other inventions include HDR (High Dynamic Range) Imaging, now used in nearly every commercially manufactured camera, and the EyeTap Digital Eye Glass which predates the Google Glass by 30 years.
Max Hao Lu
Max Hao Lu is a maker, designer, and engineer. As the project leader of this Open Source Eyetap project, Max works with the team to create the best platform for makers to invent the smart wearables for the future together. In 2016, he led the design and construction of the Augmented Reality exhibit at Canada’s largest expo – Canadian National Exhibit. His team’s work on “Phenomenal Augmented Reality” won the “Most Futuristic Award” at Eleventh International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interactions. Currently, Max is working with Steve Mann, Dan Braverman and many other visionaries to create an innovation platform (MannLabs) to connect Canada, United States, and China.
Cindy Jinhee Park
Cindy Jinhee Park is the Mechanical Design Lead on the Eyetap Team. She is in her last year for her Undergraduate studies in Mechanical Engineering with a Robotics minor at the University of Toronto. Always been a builder, she has fabricated a wooden fuselage of a passenger carrying aircraft and has been an “Engine Owner” at Pratt & Whitney Canada, building and testing experimental turbofan engines. The most unique strength about Cindy is her explosive high energy and creativity perfectly meshing with her builder’s mind. 30 hours of non-stop creating of a walking robot that mimics insects’ movement won her a 3rd place at MLH Robohacks. It is also common for her to make up her own hackathons for this Eyetap project whenever she has a neat design idea, and they can run for up to 45 hours at a time! The energy level stays high in the lab throughout with hard hi-fives, tree climbing and sprint sessions and laughter.