The Social Body Lab is Toronto’s hub for wearable technology innovation and exploration. The lab, part of OCAD, takes the human body as a starting point from which to consider how humans interface with and relate to the world around them. Beyond the basic functionality of incorporating technology into clothing, the Social Body Lab focuses on meaningful and provocative interactions, questioning the relationship between humans and technology through working prototypes and fully manifested projects.

Focusing on critical engagement with technology, interdisciplinary practices, meaningful interactions, distribution of knowledge and collaboration they are at the forefront of the wearable technology world in Toronto and around the world.

Lead by Kate Hartman, an artist, technologist, and educator whose work spans the fields of physical computing, wearable electronics, and conceptual art. She is the co-creator of Botanicalls, a system that lets thirsty plants place phone calls for human help, and the Lilypad XBee, a sewable radio transceiver that enables your clothing to communicate. Kate is also working with MAKE magazine on their upcoming Wearables Guide, and has given a fantastic TED talk explaining some of her projects and the art of wearable communication

One of my favorite projects out of the Social Body Lab is Nudgeables The Nudgeables Accessory Kit is a modular hardware kit developed for use in creating paired sets of wireless wearable communication devices. A Nudgeables device employs a radio transceiver, a “Nudger”, and a “Notifier” to enable a pair of people to Nudge each other from across a room. The fact that is it a kit that others can use to add the devices into their clothing has resulted in a wide range of projects being created.

The Social Body Lab hosts a monthly Wearables Meetup, which is an excellent showcase of work by local makers – I highly recommend if you are at all curious about what you can do with wearables.