We won an award at the Design Slam Competition!

Janis Yee  

IxDA Toronto held a Design Slam Competition earlier tonight at Mozilla Labs’ sweet office space. The event was sponsored by Usability Matters and roughly a dozen groups participated.

250x100_ixdaIt was a fantastic experience and an enjoyment to collaborate with the other bright designers and engineers on our challenge. I was lucky to be part of the team that won an award for Best Concept to capture the true meaning of social sharing. The judges enjoyed how our idea focused more on the user and was tech agnostic.


To design a concept for a social media application on a wearable computing platform, using current technology and its evolution up to a maximum of 5 years into the future. We were given less than 2 hours to flesh out our idea.

Our Approach

We took our time analyzing the fallouts of user habits with current social media trends today. From this, we extrapolated a number of use cases. We were able to storyboard those events and selected a primary scenario to best showcase our idea.


Social media was born out of a need to share experiences but none of the screen based services such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram can yet display it in a visceral fashion. A video does not an experience make. Mediated by the current Internet, we are surrounded by forms of escapism in our everyday lives. Part of the human condition is realizing our mortality and attempting to maximize how far we can go through another’s eyes.

Our Winning Idea – Empathic Social Technology

Solution Part 1

For the person who wishes to share their experience, they get to use not just one piece of tech, but an ecosystem of wearable technology that will capture the full measure of the experience from not only our senses but also our emotions through advanced brain sensors. This user will then be able to post their experience for others, with ability to limit exposure through various privacy settings.

Solution Part 2

These same pieces of wearable technology will also allow a person to experience the same moment again or chose to experience someone’s shared moment in the same visceral way.


Imagine truly understanding another on a profound empathic level. This type of connection will be astoundingly disruptive for our society, especially in the fields of healthcare, education, and legal services, to name a few. It may even disrupt and elevate the internet as we know it.

In fact, if you look around you at the technology that currently exists, we are almost there.

Special Thanks to other members of the team

Frauke Seewald, Ruta Potnis, and 3 others.
Note: Apologies as I wasn’t able to capture everyone’s name at the end of the night. If you were part of this group, please email or send me a note and I’ll definitely add your credit. 🙂

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