Steve Mann

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ISEA Bio(s) Available:

  • ISEA2002

    Steve Mann, University of Toronto, Canada.


    Steve Mann, inventor of WearCam (reality mediator), and WearComp, wearable computer, is currently a faculty member at the University of Toronto. Steve has been inventing, designing, and building personal imaging systems as a hobby, since his high school days in the 1970s and early 1980s. In 1991 he brought his invention to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and continued this new direction of research there, defining “Personal Imaging” as a new field of research there, in which he received his PhD degree from MIT in 1997. His previous degree is Master of Electrical Engineering (MEng) from McMaster University. Steve also holds undergraduate degrees in physics (BSc) and electrical engineering (BEng) from McMaster University.

    He was guest-editor of a special issue on wearable computing and personal imaging in Personal Technologies journal, one of four organizers of the ACM’s first international workshop on wearable computing, publications chair for the IEEE international symposium on wearable computing (ISWC-97), and gave the keynote address for the first International Conference on Wearable Computing (ICWC98). His present research interests include quantagraphic imaging, lightspace rendering, and wearable, tetherless computer-mediated photography. He is currently setting up a new “Humanistic Intelligence” lab to “invent the camera of the future”, and is now looking for graduate students and staff for this project. Steve is interested in both the visual and interrogative arts and his work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums from 1985 to present.


    Steve Mann is a doctoral student at MIT. where he co­founded the MIT wearable computing project. He’s sched­uled to graduate Summer 1997 and has accepted a faculty position at the University of Toronto, Department of Electrical Engineering, where he is starting up a new Personal Imaging project. Steve’s previous degrees are in physics and electrical engineering. His earlier work includes designing and building the first wearable computer with display, as well as applica­tions of this “personal imaging” invention to the visual arts, creating a conceptual formulation for characterizing the response of objects and scenes to arbitrary lighting, creating a self-linearizing camera calibration procedure, and formulat­ing the first true projective image mosaicking/compositing algorithm. His interest in the visual arts has resulted in exhi­bitions of his pencigraphic “lightspace” images in numerous art galleries, and his creation of various ‘personal documen­tary’ videos (the most recent of which received honorable mention in Prix Ars Electronica) and various forms of surveillance, situationist, and interrogative performance art.


Last Known Location:

  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Role(s) at the symposia over the years: