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‘The Networked Body’ is focus of public symposium May 16

Learn about the future of wearables and bio-integrated electronics in sports and health

A hand peels a translucent electronic patch from an arm.
Sophisticated technologies that integrate directly with the human body will impact areas from clinical care and sports to virtual and augmented reality.

EVANSTON - Wearable fitness trackers and heart monitors are ubiquitous today. But what about wearable technology that seamlessly integrates with the body to monitor vital signs, connect our brains to our computers and even jumpstart the heart after a heart attack? That’s the future -- and it’s not that far away.

Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering will co-host a public half-day symposium, “The Networked Body: How Wearables and Bio-Integrated Electronics Will Impact Our Future,” on Tuesday, May 16, to discuss advances in these technologies and the sports, health and wellness areas they promise to impact. 

“Rapid advances in academic and industrial research are establishing new ways to integrate sophisticated device technologies directly with the human body,” said Northwestern’s John A. Rogers, a pioneer in the field of wearable electronics who will deliver the opening lecture.

“The unique capabilities of these biocompatible systems have direct relevance not only to the future of clinical care, rehabilitation science, sports and fitness, personal health and biomedical research, but also to human and machine interfaces and virtual and augmented reality,” he said.

Rogers is the Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Neurological Surgery in the McCormick School of Engineering and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Other participants include David Camarillo of Stanford University, who will discuss sports and human performance; Mark Chevillet from Facebook’s Building 8, which recently built a brain-computer interface enabling users to type with their minds; and specialists from Gatorade, the Chicago Cubs, the U.S. Olympics Committee and the Air Force Research Laboratory.

The symposium, co-hosted by the National Academy of Engineering, will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the McCormick Foundation Auditorium of the James L. Allen Center, 2169 Campus Drive, on the Evanston campus.

Admission is free, but registration is required. A reception and demonstrations by faculty and student startups will follow the program.

Full schedule

12:30 p.m. -- Welcome remarks

  • C.D. Mote Jr., president, National Academy of Engineering
  • Daniel I. Linzer, provost, Northwestern University
  • Julio M. Ottino, dean, McCormick School of Engineering

 12:50 p.m. -- Opening lecture

  • John Rogers, Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Neurological Surgery and director, Center of Bio-Integrated Electronics, Northwestern

 1:30 p.m. -- Sports and human performance

  • David Camarillo, Tashia and John Morgridge Endowed Faculty Scholar, assistant professor of bioengineering, Stanford University

 2 p.m. -- Sports and human performance panel

  • Bobby Basham, assistant director of minor league operations, Chicago Cubs
  • Bill Moreau, managing director of sports medicine, U.S. Olympics Committee
  • Jon-Kyle Davis, research scientist, Gatorade Sports
  • Jeff Mjaanes, head team physician, Northwestern

3 p.m. -- Health and wellness

  • Rajesh Naik, chief scientist, 711th Human Performance Wing of the Air Force Research Laboratory
  • David Mohr, director, Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies and professor of preventive medicine, medical social sciences, and psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Northwestern

4 p.m. -- Augmented experiences

  • Mark Chevillet, technical project lead, Facebook’s Building 8
  • Ed Colgate, Allen K. and Johnnie Cordell Breed Senior Professor in Design and professor of mechanical engineering, Northwestern
  • Michael Peshkin, Bette and Neison Harris Professor in Teaching Excellence and professor of mechanical engineering, Northwestern

5 p.m. -- Reception and demonstrations

Register for the event online.

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