We Are Wearables Montreal event spies mainstream potential

We Are Wearables is coming to Montreal.

The popular wearables community of over 100,000 members with chapters in Toronto, Ottawa, Chicago and now Montreal, will host its first meetup in the city on September 14.

The event will feature presentations from MightyCast CEO Adam Adelman, SensauraTech COO Jean-philip Poulin and VRvana COO Marc-Olivier Lepage.

Meanwhile, We Are Wearables founder Tom Emrich will mediate a panel discussion between Adelman, VRvana CEO Bertrand Nepveu, BioMindR cofounder Meryeme Lahmami, Motion Engine CEO Louis Ross and Joanna Berzowska, OMsignal’s head of electronic textiles,  and the chair of Concordia University’s Department of Design and Computation Arts.

The free event will run from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Desjardins Lab.

BioMindR’s Lahmami, who also co-organized the event, said Montreal should be considered the smart clothing capital of Canada.

“There’s a huge concentration here in terms of wearable companies,” said Lahmami. “If you look at absolute numbers it’s not the same compared to Toronto, but the ratio of wearable companies to the number of people here is comparable.”

“Many companies in Canada developing smart clothing are actually from Montreal.”

Lahmami said it took some time for the city to develop as a wearables hotspot, but gradually support opened up through research and development centres like VestechPro and Groupe CTT, which help entrepreneurs develop their product.


Meryeme Lahmami

Her company, BioMindR, uses Radio-Frequency (RF) technology and machine learning to continuously monitor hydration and other biometrics. At CES 2017 the company is expected to show off its product.

The cofounder said there exists nearly 100 wearable technology companies in Canada.

While the free event will provide a place for those interested in wearables to network and discuss issues, Lehmami said she hoped to discuss the notion that wearables as an industry is not as hot a topic in mainstream interest as it was just a year or two ago.

“I think we’re lagging a bit behind,” Lahmami told MTLinTECH. “In the beginning there was an initial craziness but I think people are still waiting for wearables to take the next step and they’re not seeing it. Some are leaving wearables behind and focusing on VR or other trends.”

Lehmami remains bullish though. She feels wearable technology will make its way into mainstream adoption.

“Just between 2014 and 2015 you had 50 per cent more sales between fitness trackers and smart watches.”

“Millions of wearables are being shipped every year. The sales are there,” said Lahmami. “Perhaps in 2014 it was marginal but now we’re seeing a beautiful curve in terms of sales,” said Lahmami.

However, she pointed out, it’s still not mass-adopted. What is preventing that from happening?”

Globally it’s estimated that 15 million smart wristbands and five million smart watches were sold in 2014 (with 1.2 million sold in North America). Statista, a Hamburg, Germany-based statistics company predicts those numbers will rise to 80 million for smart watches by 2018. By that time, glass is estimated to sell six million units while smart wristbands will stay constant at 15 million.

Unfortunately sales don’t always indicate something has been mass-adopted, a topic that’s expected to play a role during the evening.

Here’s a look at one of We Are Wearables’ previous events in Toronto:

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