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article imageTesting the tech of the 'future' at Toronto's Discovery event Special

By Michael Thomas     Apr 29, 2015 in Technology
Toronto - At Toronto's Discovery conference lies the tech of the near and distant future — from lifelike video game avatars to a headband for stress relief, there's a little bit of everything.
Discovery, an event organized by the Ontario Centres of Excellence, gathered entrepreneurs of all stripes for a two-day conference for all things tech, energy and small business.
There was a lot to see, but here's some of the tech Digital Journal checked out on Tuesday afternoon.
CloudDX Tricorder
CloudDX s varied medical technology
CloudDX's varied medical technology
Digital Journal reported last year on the remaining finalists for the Qualcomm X Prize, which is looking for teams to build a tricorder, essentially a kit capable of testing for various diseases and usable by the public. Cloud DX is Canada's only remaining representative for the competition.
The company already has the Pulsewave heart monitor out on the market, and now has preorders open for the Vitaliti vital sign monitor, a band one wears around the neck capable of measuring heart rate, ECG, respiration, blood pressure and more. The first few units are expected to ship at the end of this year.
Still in clinical trials is a home testing kit that can analyze blood samples, seen on the right in the picture above.
GestSure technology
GestSure technology intends to make surgery a lot easier for doctors
GestSure technology intends to make surgery a lot easier for doctors
Aimed at the medical community, GestSure intends to make operations less frustrating for surgeons. Because they rely on a variety of charts and scans but can't navigate them quickly because of lack of sterility, GestSure uses, you guessed it, hand gestures for easier access to info. A surgeon, with simple hand movements, can control computers without having to touch a mouse. It takes about 15 minutes to learn the various gestures, and a little longer to become "fluent" in it. It's currently being tested in a few hospitals.
Quantum Capture 3D scanning
Quantum Capture uses tons of cameras to create lifelike video game avatars
Quantum Capture uses tons of cameras to create lifelike video game avatars
This company uses 3D scanning to create almost disturbingly lifelike avatars for video games. They're currently reaching out to video game companies, and apparently tested their avatars in an unnamed Ubisoft game. They also had a VR environment on hand to try out. Though small, it was enveloping. After putting on the VR goggles and headband, one can explore a room. Moving closer to the room's boombox will make the volume louder, and there's a woman sitting in the middle one can get very uncomfortably close with. Staying in too long can cause a little motion sickness, something the company says it's working on lessening.
Muse Headband
The author trying out a stress-relieving exercise using the Muse headband
The author trying out a stress-relieving exercise using the Muse headband
Promising a better brain "in three minutes a day" sounds like a TV ad, but the Muse headband is no brain-training exercise. The headband works in conjunction with an app to guide users through brief to extended stress-relief exercises. I tried an exercise emulating a beach, which first asked me to think of words that fall into categories, before guiding me to count my breaths and focus just on that. I had a pretty rough go, ending up just 4 percent calm, but with enough training that number is sure to increase. The app uses gamification and badges to make the stress-relief experience a lot more fun.
Myant electroluminescent wearables
Safety officials and cyclists can only get so far with the reflective clothing they have on hand, and Myant is hoping to solve that problem with vests embedded with powerful light visible from much greater distances. The vests' batteries can currently last about five to six hours, are easily removable and charge in about 30 minutes. The vests are currently in development.
A learning robot sits beside microchips developed by Advanced Brain Research
A learning robot sits beside microchips developed by Advanced Brain Research
The Snowcone  intended to wrap around beach platforms to provide heat during winter months
The Snowcone, intended to wrap around beach platforms to provide heat during winter months
More about Discovery, discovery 2015, Virtual reality, Tricorder, gesture control
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