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This effort is not, nor could it have been, the effort of a single individual. Accordingly, I try to summarize here, those who helped with the WearComp project. If someone out there has contributed to my thinking, and I haven't acknowledged you, please let me know, as this has just been a personal hobby initially, and I wasn't as careful about keeping records as I would have been had I been aware of all the research interest and recent hype that was to have built up in this area.

Ron Lancaster and Antonin Kimla provided many of the components with which to build WearComp0, and Kimla also provided the funding for WearComp1. Chuck Carter, as well as my brother, Richard, helped out considerably with WearComp2. Jeff Eleveld was really the driving force behind making wearable technology more like clothing and more fashionable, and jointly, while at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1982, we developed some of the ideas and mindset behind putting electronic circuits into clothing. Renatta Barerra assisted later on with this effort, and began to build for me pants that were to match my WearComp ``shirt''. Although the pants were never completed, our joint effort did inspire me to build a fullbody WearComp, on my own, in 1985. Nandegopal Ghista and Hubert Debruin are to be credited with much in the way of suggestions on biosensors for WearComp during the 1980s. Simon Haykin, as well as several people at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind made many suggestions toward my ``vibrotach'', ``electric feel sensing'', ``vibravest'', etc., projects.

Many fellow amateur radio operators, most notably, Steve Roberts, N4RVE, have had a great influence, partially through serving as role models of what an individual (e.g. hobbyist, or the like) can accomplish on one's own.

When I brought this idea to MIT in 1991, Andy Lippman seemed to take a curious interest in one particular aspect of it, my wearable radar system, not for the reasons I intended it (to assist the blind, etc.), but as a mechanism to challenge law enforcement, and because, afterall, it was radar, a mechanism of self empowerment. This strange sort of interaction inspired me to think more about the existential motivations behind WearComp, and about some of my earlier 1980s ``audio wearables'' in the context of tex2html_wrap_inline1293, self-determination, and mastery over our own destiny. There at MIT I also encountered Rosalind Picard who was also a major influence, and, as advisor, gave me ``enough wire to hang myself''. The freedom that she gave me, as an advisor -- freedom to explore a long-standing personal hobby, is very much responsible for the success of this effort.

Doug Platt, through his design of the PC104 wearable, has also had much influence, both directly and indirectly, on the evolution of the WearComp project. Thad Starner has also had considerable influence, with such contributions as the text-correlator (rememberance agent). Thad, who had his first wearable computer built for him by Doug Platt in 1993, has significantly advanced the field by being a strong advocate of wearable technology. Although in the early phases of WearComp6, I was the only one to use Li-Ion batteries, more recently, with the growing use by others, there became a large enough critical mass to design our own battery holder, which is owing to Jeremy Levitan, Rehmi Post, and Lenny Foner. Greg Priest-Dorman, and many others, have recently had an impact on my work in re-thinking input devices.

Krzysotof Wodiczko and Julia Scher have been major influences in terms of my ``surveillance situationist'' application of wearable technology. For example, my current exhibit at the List Visual Arts Center is owing much to their influence.

Thanks also to the Circuit Cellar reviewers and editorial staff for bringing this effort to completion.

next up previous
Next: About this document Up: "wearhow.html" How to build Previous: WearComp7: The `underwearable'

Steve Mann
Wed Dec 24 05:46:06 EST 1997