The University of Waterloo’s  newest high-tech accelerator is showcasing some of the latest in interactive digital display technologies from an equally new ‘sandbox for serious play’ – the FELT Lab – throughout CDMN’s Canada 3.0 2012 .
Research Entrepreneurs Accelerating Prosperity  (REAP) is bringing to this year’s forum some of the innovative technologies, related to interactive display environments and applications (IDEA), from the FELT Lab. Launched in November, FELT is a community-based lab in St. Jacobs, Ontario, where industry and academia envision and develop IDEA. The goal is to expand the opportunities offered by existing and emerging technologies, creating products and services for new markets.
“We’re delighted that REAP is joining us to demonstrate how IDEA technologies can impact digital media content, creating opportunities in a range of sectors, including arts and culture,” said Kevin Tuer, Managing Director, Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN). “The REAP showcase exemplifies how the more than 50 partners and exhibitors at this year’s forum are innovating using digital media, in ways that create jobs and companies for Canadians.”
The technology showcase will be part of the REAP Recharge Lounge, where forum participants can relax while their devices recharge. They can also revitalize their thinking on the possibilities offered by IDEA, while viewing and/or interacting with content on eight installations. They include:
- Art Allies Interactive Gallery – The works of various Waterloo Region artists will be projected life-size on a six-by-eight-foot screen. Art lovers can navigate – or virtually tour – the exhibition, not by walking around, but with hand gestures.
- Video Wall – This custom video player system uses background subtraction to do more than just superimpose something on an image. It fully immerses people into any scene, whether a boxing ring or the Great Wall of China.
- Apptui Mobile Device Interface – Canada 3.0 participants can navigate content with their personal devices, while learning about a technology that turns any device into a remote control.
- GestureTek Mini-thinkering – Thinkering involves tinkering with technologies while thinking up new uses. REAP’s research entrepreneurs – undergraduate students from across the university, also known as REAPsters – will demonstrate a multi-touch display technology and help forum participants envision the opportunities offered by 32-touch points.
REAP is also helping to introduce a new online news site for the high-tech accelerator sector – The Accelerator Gazette. REAP is sponsoring The Gazette, as part of its mandate to research and report on best practices for accelerating high-tech enterprise from around the world.
“CDMN Canada 3.0’s celebration of Canadian leadership in digital media provides an ideal opportunity to showcase a range of innovations in IDEA,” said Jill Tomasson Goodwin, Co-founder of REAP. “We look forward to showing how young talent can help mobilize content to better connect Canadians and improve productivity.”
REAPsters and staff will be on hand to explain how REAP’s approach – involving arts-led research entrepreneurship, applied design thinking, a focus on IDEA, private-public partnerships and more – can help increase individual and Canadian prosperity.