Simon Fraser University's (SFU) WearTech Labs is an SFU Core Facility for the research and development (R&D) of wearable technologies (wearables). At WearTech Labs, wearables go beyond smart watches and fitness trackers to also include exoskeletons, prosthetics, earphones, shoes, technical clothing, gear and more. Our mission is to make a meaningful impact on the world through wearables—for instance, by improving the health of babies born in the developing world through vital sign alerts, increasing business productivity through redesign of workplaces based on usage, and locating downed firefighters in complex indoor settings.
Meeting this goal requires developing new hardware technologies, new sensing modalities and algorithms to quantify our lives, new analytic tools to make sense of this wealth of data, and new control strategies to help change how we live our lives, all perpetually powered by our own physiology.
Within WearTech Labs, the Ideation Lab focuses on design, simulation and collaboration activities. The Prototyping Lab includes 3D printers and other equipment for the design, fabrication, characterization and testing of new devices. The Human Performance Lab tests these devices on human users under any environmental condition found on our planet. We test using biomechanical and physiological equipment within our environmental chamber, sleep chamber, hearing chamber and motion capture space. WearTech Labs is run by a team of scientists and engineers that—having worked within and alongside both academia and industry—understands the respective strengths and needs of each.
About the Co-Scientific Directors
The scientific leadership of WearTech Labs is provided by Co-Directors Ed Park and Max Donelan. Dr. Park is an SFU Professor of Mechatronic Systems Engineering and an Associate Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences. Dr. Donelan is an SFU Professor of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, and also chair of that department. They are both leading experts in wearable technology, focused on hardware and software development, prototyping and testing, human user testing, intellectual property (IP) generation and protection, quality engineering and management, and regulatory affairs of new wearable devices. They have successfully collaborated with multinational corporations and local SMEs, sat on company advisory boards and founded four wearable technology university spin-offs between them.