borgfest

Borgfest Cyborg Halloween Costume Party

October 31, 2014

9pm-2am

Borgfest, Nerd Nite, and Dorkbot

present

Occult Futurism Haunted House Halloween Party

Android vampires and robot werewolves and bionic zombies, oh my!

Featuring the Sciborg Robopimps, tarot card readings, parlor tricks, and the Hyde Park Gorilla

No street clothes, please.  Come costumed or come naked.  Dress code enforced

By invitation only.

Get your ticket at Eventbrite.  Use promo code “ectoplasm”

Austin Meet Up: Meet Louise Bruton aka “Legless in Dublin”

September 26, 2014

5:30-7pm

Join us for a Happy Hour tomorrow to welcome Louise Bruton.

A few days ago, I met Louise along with Sophie Oliveira de Barata of the Alternative Limb Project at TEDMED in San Francisco.  Louise is visiting America and driving across the country, making a stop in Austin.

Louise has an amazing customized prosthetic leg covering that was hand-crafted by Sophie.  Here’s a picture that doesn’t do it justice:

LouiseBrutonSophie’s work at the Alternative Limb Project goes a long ways towards body-identity re-integration and improving the acceptance of prosthetics by amputees.  This is done by working in close consultation with clients to design a customized look for prosthetics that more closely matches their sense of identity and aesthetics.  Here’s a link to the Alternative Limb Project:

http://www.thealternativelimbproject.com/

 

 

Clearly the work is amazing and this is your chance to meet Louise and change the way you think of prosthetic limbs.

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Austin Meet Up: How wearable tech saved (or is saving) my life

[Register to attend]

Join us September 24 for our second Wearable Wednesday Austin!

artificial kidney

How Wearable Tech Saved (or is Saving) My Life

6-10pm, Wednesday Sept 24 at AT&T 
9505 Research Blvd, Austin, Texas 78759
Free Admission, Registration Required
 
Learn and network with innovators and visionaries
 
Presentations

“The beat goes on: The making of pacemakers.”
John Porterfield, Chief Scientific Officer of Admittance Technologies. 

 “When measuring gets in the way of therapy: What diabetics can teach us about UX design.”
Jesse Kinbarovsky, Patient-Inventor at Glucocue.

“Living on the edge: A man with 4 kidneys and 30 years of life extension from the bleeding edge of modern technology.”
Lennie Myers, transplant recipient.

 

The emergence of the Wearable Technology industry has come fast and far in a short period of time. Innovative and revolutionary ideas have almost instantaneously spawned from concept to reality, from things of dreams and movies into tangible products. Once only known in the world of the science fiction, today’s consumers and patients have access to incredible breakthroughs.  Join us and we’ll keep you abreast of what’s new, what’s relevant, and how to think about it in provocative and creative ways.

At our second Wearable Wednesday Austin, we will gather to have a special conversation about wearable technology that matters.  When it comes to the wearable world, it seems everyone is looking for distinctive functionality and failing that, there is a plethora of look-alike products pre-occupied with fashion over form.

bionic man

Last year, scientists with the Bionic Man project, gathered prosthetic limbs and artificial organs from around the world and assembled them together in a single structure or artificial man.  They claim that today, we are able to rebuild more than 50% of the human body.  Yet, despite these startling advances, it’s clear that the Frankensteinian concept of human organ transplantation often remains the only viable solution for organ replacement.

human organ cooler

We’re going to focus on the crossroads of wearable medical devices that assist organ function and full-on organ transplantation and we’re going to do it at the Austin location of AT&T Labs.  AT&T Labs traces its history back to the world-famous Bell Labs which played a distinguished role in many of the most significant inventions of the modern age.  We’re thrilled that AT&T has partnered with us to discuss the dawning age of cyborg technology.

Come take part in an important discussion that will reshape how most of us think of wearable technology–transplants, implants, hardware, software, and wetware.  It’s going to be a fantastic evening!

[Register to attend]

Agenda:

6:00PM – Networking and Demos (Pizza and refreshments generously provided by AT&T)

6:45PM – Introduction by Rich MacKinnon, Wearable World Ambassador, and co-founder and executive director of Borgfest Cyborg Festival and Expo on Human Augmentation, Performance Enchancement, Body Modification, and Wearable Tech.

6:50PM – Speakers, Presentations, and Q&A.

Speakers/Presentations:

John Porterfield, Chief Scientific Officer, Admittance Technologies.  “The beat goes on: The making of pacemakers.”

Jesse Kinbarovsky, Patient-Inventor, Glucocue. “When measuring gets in the way of therapy:  What diabetics can teach us about UX design.”

Lennie Myerstransplant recipient. “Living on the edge:  A man with 4 kidneys and 30 years of life extension from the bleeding edge of modern technology.”

8:35PM – Wrap Up, Feedback, and Announcements

8:50PM – After-Party

10:00PM – Good night!

[Register to attend]

Speaker Bios:

John Porterfield, Chief Scientific Officer, Admittance Technologies.

John is working toward the goal of commercializing his PhD research for use in humans, which involves measuring blood volume in real time using commercially available pacemaker leads and devices.  His presentation will cover the origins of pacemakers, the shortcomings of current devices, and will explore how they can/should be improved along with reasons why they haven’t yet.

Jesse Kinbarovsky, Patient-Inventor, Glucocue

As a patient and inventor, Jesse brings new insight into design and function.The chronically ill have been using invasive, embedded, and simple technologies and methods for more than a generation to check and record physiological data dozens of times each day for several generations. What are the psychological and physical effects of such extreme quantification? How do these efforts impact quantifiers’ families and loved-ones? What can diabetics teach us about the longevity of self-quantification efforts, and how might such experience inform the technology we produce and the interfaces we design?

Lennie Myers, transplant recipient

Lennie considers himself one of the luckiest people in the world because he was fortunate enough to be born and live in a time where leading edge technology has kept him alive for 30 additional years. Each of us has an opportunity to celebrate our births each year. Lennie celebrates 5 very specific birthdays coinciding with modern technology that has either been life-sustained or given him new life.

Rich MacKinnon, Executive Director, BorgFest Human Augmentation Expo

Rich is the Wearable World Ambassador to Austin.  His upcoming cultural and entertainment festival, BorgFest, is cyborg festival and expo on human augmentation, performance enhancement, body modification, and wearable technologies.  There are Borgfest mini-events and meet ups scheduled throughout the year (this is one!) and the cyborg community gathers daily online via the website, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

[Register to attend]

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS & PARTNERS!
WWED logoBorgfest logo

 

AT&T Labs logo

Austin Health Tech

Become a Borgfest sponsor or partner.  Contact rich@borgfest.com to discuss creative and custom opportunities.

[Register to attend]

About our Sponsors

BorgFest Cyborg Festival and Human Augmentation Expo

Celebrate and support those with prosthetics, orthotics, implants, transplants, augmentations, performance enhancements, body mod, quantified self, wearable tech, and more!

Borg Fest is a celebration for an intentional community of people interested in human augmentation and enhancement.  Many of the participants will themselves have been augmented as a result of accident, injury, war, congenital defect, illness, or disease.  Others may have been augmented for personal, professional, artistic, stylistic, philosophical, political, or religious reasons.  Some of the participants are industry and academic leaders in the fields that provide products and services to this community.  Amidst the celebration, key conversations will occur, critical contacts made, relationships formed, ideas crystalized, companies started, concepts demonstrated, and people helped.

Austin Health Tech: Healthcare, Technology, and Health 2.0.

Austin Health Tech is an organization with one simple aim: To bring the health, technology, and business communities of central Texas together to make healthcare better.

AT&T Labs

Starting with the invention of the telephone, AT&T Labs have created some of the world’s major innovations across a broad spectrum of technology. These innovations range from IP network management and optical technology to automatic speech recognition and next-generation text-to-speech products. With Labs locations across the country and hundreds of the world’s best researchers, technologists and engineers, AT&T is more equipped than ever to handle the drive towards innovation.

About Wearable Wednesdays

Wearable Wednesday events are an open community forum focused on the blending of technology, art and humanity in the Wearable Technology and Internet of Things ecosystem.  Our goals is to provide a platform for industry innovators, entrepreneurs, builders and investors to connect with like-minded, motivated people with the knowledge, vision, and partnerships that will move the Internet of Wearable Things forward.  Group Meetups will include both technicaland market-oriented sessions.  Wearable Wednesdays are held globally across the world’s top tech centers, including San Francisco, New York, Dallas, and London, and we continue to launch new locations periodically.  Meet the most innovative wearable tech entrepreneurs in your community, demo products, share ideas and discuss trends in both local and global markets.

Borgfest sponsoring Cyborg Poetry contest

In partnership with the Austin Poetry Society, we’re sponsoring a cyborg poetry contest that celebrates and supports those with prosthetics, orthotics, implants, transplants, augmentations, performance enhancements, body mod, quantified selves, or wearable tech.

We’d like dedication suggestions for a person, persons, or organization.

Ideas??!

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Borgfest Backyard Cyborg Cinema

Join fellow cyborgs in Borgfest founder Rich MacKinnon‘s backyard for cyborg chit-chat under the trees with beer, camp chairs, Bladerunner noodles (you’ll have to come to find out), and one or two cinematic cyborg pleasers. We may even be joined by some out-of-town cyborg dignitaries!

Some beer and soda will be provided, but BYOB to ensure supply and preference. We will have some plastic chairs, but if you have a comfy camp chair, you’ll be happy you brought it! If you wisely decide to partake in Chef MacKinnon’s Bladerunner noodles, please bring a cash donationDetails and RSVP

A memo from the Cyborg HR Dept

There have been several articles on the topic of machines (or even augmented humans) replacing humans in the workplace, but this video does the best job so far. Horses became unemployable through no fault of their own. It’s nonsense to say that automation technology enabled horses to enjoy better jobs, yet we seem to believe this will be the case for people. The horse population continues to decline with their waning utility. Horses were replaced by the car, and ironically, so will humans. Watch Video

Borgfest 2015 Sponsorship Program Begins

Borgfest is actively seeking enthusiastic partners and sponsors for our meet ups and Oct 2015 festival.  Provide us with an early commitment now and we’ll reward you with a discount for helping us bootstrap and get a jump on the year!  Learn more

Recap: Wearable Tech for Safer Streets

10464407_771164052924486_3785596715342952143_nWhat a fantastic event!  Thank you to all who participated, a special thanks to our sponsors and partners Wearable World, Golab, and Austin Health Tech, and a big thumbs up to our presenters: Sara LeVine from ATX Safer Streets, Charlie Harper III from North Austin Social Bicycling, and Jackson Egan from Chaotic Moon Studios.

2The evening began with some mingling and cocktails.  On a large flat screen TV we had a slideshow loop of some images that we felt captured the spirit of BorgFest.  You can see the images here on in our Facebook album.

 

 

Once we all got settled into our Tex-Mex dinners, Rich MacKinnon, BorgFest co-founder, executive director and Wearable World Ambassador to Austin launched the first Borgfest meet up and the inaugural Wearable Wednesday Austin event!

WWED

sarahrogerSara LeVine challenged participants to develop ways for wearable tech to make the streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.  In fact, earlier in the day, she had been involved in a car accident.  It can happen at any time to anyone.  Even when you are on your way to speak about street safety.  In a time, when mobile tech = distracted driving, it seems counter-intuitive that wearable tech can improve safety.  The challenge is developing the appropriate UI.

Charlie Harper said “It was great to see so many people interested in wearable technology.”  He intuitively understood the connection between social cycling, wearable tech, and cyborgs.    In fact, his bike is called The Borg!  What a coincidence.  Apparently, we’re not the only crazy ones, but then again, we see cyborgs everywhere.  According to Charlie, Borg-like collectives will become more pronounced as more cyclists wear cameras and communication devices to facilitate their journey and ensure their safety.   See for yourself–his video of cyclists traveling together was mesmerizing.  At times during the video, the colored lights on the front of the bikes created an effect resembling the laser eyepiece worn by the Borg.  And Charlie’s GoPro-mounted helmet was a big hit with the meet up attendees.

Jackson Egan thought the event was just awesome and he was awesome to bring along the actual blackbox helmt aka “The Helmet of Justice.”  Participants were eager to pass it around the room and pose for pictures.  The Helmet of Justice came into existence after a co-worker was hit by a car while cycling.  Jackson can relate because he too was recently involved in a hit and run–and he has the scars on his face to prove it.  Functioning like a blackbox recorder, the helmet automatically detects impact and activates its cameras.  Jackson shared a CNN video about the helmet’s story.

The feedback after the event was that it was awesome, exceeded expectations, and there was definite interest in attending more.  Some people liked the central location, others suggested a “traveling roadshow” that better served the north and south, and everyone definitely liked having food at the venue, especially during the dinner hour.

We have several great photos from the event.  Hope you enjoy them!

The next Borgfest meet up will be Saturday, August 30th.  It will be a casual party featuring special guests and a private backyard screening of one or two films of great interest to cyborg enthusiasts.  Be sure to subscribe to our Updates email list to get the details and we hope to see you at our first Borgfest Backyard Cyborg Cinema!

1lores

Wearable Tech for Safer Streets

 

Borgfest presents

Wearable Tech for Safer Streets

 

Note: Please register via Eventbrite to get your ticket:

GoProCyclistChaotic Moon Studios logoNASB logoATX Safer Streets logoBorgFest logoGoLab Austin logoAustin Health Tech Meet Up logo

Join us June 18 for our inaugural Wearable Wednesday Austin!

Wearable Tech MeetUp for Safer Streets

The emergence of the Wearable Technology industry has come fast and far in a short period of time. Innovative and revolutionary ideas have almost instantaneously spawned from concept to reality, from things of dreams and movies into tangible products. Once only known in the world of the Jetsons, today’s consumers have access to elegant fitness activity monitors like the Misfit, augmented reality retinal displays like the Glyph and LED eyelashes created by Soomi Park.

At the inaugural Wearable Wednesday Austin, we will gather to have a special conversation about the urgent need for safer streets in Austin.  Too many us have lost friends or have had close calls because our community is unable to share the roads responsibly and safely.  We need a culture change that addresses and reduces car-dependency and DUI, creates more and better transportation options, and promotes road sharing courtesy among pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.  Wearable Wednesday will be a forum to discuss ways that wearable technology can help improve safety for all road users.

DUI is among the most dangerous road uses.  Can the consquences of self-driving and car-dependency be addressed through an ecology of alternative transportation options?  What modes of transportation are out there?  What apps and technologies–wearable or not–are available to get the most use out of them?  What stories and footage do we have from cyclists wearing GoPro?  Pedestrians wearing Glass?  What wearable technologies are people using to increase their visibility to other road users? What wearable technologies are the police using or researching to improve public safety?  What about wearable technologies that serve as blackbox recorders?

In this special edition of Wearable Wednesday Austin, we won’t talk so much about the wearables ecology as much as we will focus on whether wearables can play a role in road safety–like documenting and discouraging bad road user behavior; or increasing the visiblity of and information about other road users; or whether some wearable designs contribute to the problem.

Agenda:

6:00PM – Networking and Demos

6:45PM – Introduction by Rich MacKinnon, Urban Transportation Commissioner, Wearable World Ambassador, and Executive Director of Borgfest.

6:50PM – Speakers, Presentations, and Q&A.

Speakers/Presentations:

Sara Levine, founder, ATX Safer Streets.  “How technology can save lives.”

Charlie Harper, organizer, North Austin Social Bicycling. “Electric Eyes Don’t Forget: Cyclists’ Use of Modern Digital Capture and Why It’s So Damn Important

Jackson Egan, Hit-and-Run Over Cyclist and developer, Chaotic Moon.  “The Helmet of Justice”

8:35PM – Wrap Up, Feedback, and Announcements

8:50PM – After-Party

10:00PM – Good night!

 

Speaker bios: 

Jackson Egan, Developer,  Chaotic Moon

Jackson Egan, hit-and-run-over cyclist, entrepreneur and web consultant: Ave Maria class of 2012, currently a developer at Chaotic Moon and co-founder of In Media Res.

Charlie L. Harper III, Founder, North Austin Social Bicycling

Charlie L. Harper III is a professional freelance photographer in Austin, Texas, where he specializes in news photography and field portraiture. An avid cyclist, Harper is the founder of North Austin Social Bicycling, which hosts public social bicycle rides and exists to promote cycling community and safety in Austin and elsewhere.

Sara LeVine, Founder, ATX Safer Streets
Founded ATX Safer Streets in late March to address Austin’s poor choices for late night transportation.  Spent the last decade managing and bartending in a variety of different establishments before retiring from the service industry to focus on raising her daughter who born in late 2013.

Rich MacKinnon, Executive Director, BorgFest Human Augmentation Expo 

Rich MacKinnon is the senior member and past chair of the City of Austin Urban Transportation Commission.  He also chairs the UTC subcommittee for Transportation Network Companies and the Cap Metro Customer Satisfaction Advisory Commitee.  He’s an executive member of the Alliance for Public Transportation.  Tonight his worlds collide as he combines his transportation roles with his special interest in wearable technologies.  His upcoming cultural and entertainment festival, BorgFest, is an expo on human augmentation, performance enhancement, body modification, and wearable technologies.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS & PARTNERS!

Please help us produce more wearable tech events in the future!  And it’s not too late to sponsor this event.  Please become a sponsor and join our awesome team of partners– BorgFest Human Augmentation Expo, GoLab Austin, and Austin Health Tech.  Contact rich@borgfest.com to discuss creative and custom sponsorship opportunities.

About our Sponsors

BorgFest Human Augmentation Expo

Celebrate and support those with prosthetics, orthotics, implants, transplants, augmentations, performance enhancements, body mod, quantified selves, wearable tech, and more!

Borg Fest is a celebration for an intentional community of people interested in human augmentation and enhancement.  Many of the participants will themselves have been augmented as a result of accident, injury, war, congenital defect, illness, or disease.  Others may have been augmented for personal, professional, artistic, stylistic, philosophical, political, or religious reasons.  Some of the participants are industry and academic leaders in the fields that provide products and services to this community.  Amidst the celebration, key conversations will occur, critical contacts made, relationships formed, ideas crystalized, companies started, concepts demonstrated, and people helped.

GoLab Austin

Downtown coworking space for creative professionals.  At the GoLab, bootstrapping entrepreneurs, creative and design professionals, and software developers work within a system that makes overcoming typical business challenges and collaborating with coworkers easy. Find us at 621 E. 6th St. in the ATX (Austin, Texas)! Stop by and say “Hello.”

Austin Health Tech

Healthcare, Technology, and Health 2.0.

Welcome to Austin Health Tech, an organization with one simple aim: To bring the health,  technology, and business communities of central Texas together to make healthcare better.

We are tech startups, policy wonks, social media mavens, and software developers. We are health care professionals and health care amateurs. We are leaders, students, artists, consultants, advocates, and hackers. We are weird, we are entrepreneurial, and as Texans, we like to think BIG.

We are home to the Austin chapter of Health 2.0, an international organization committed to disrupting health care to improve it. You can think of this site as a central hub for all things related to health innovation in the Texas capital. Join us at trade shows and conferences here in town, show up at a happy hour or meetup, or roll up your sleeves and come to a hackathon.

If you want to be involved, you’ve come to the right place. We like questions. We love ideas. You should definitely reach out and get in touch with us. We look forward to working with y’all!

About Wearable Wednesdays

Wearable Wednesday events are an open community forum focused on the blending of technology, art and humanity in the Wearable Technology and Internet of Things ecosystem.  Our goal is to provide a platform for industry innovators, entrepreneurs, builders and investors to connect with like-minded, motivated people with the knowledge, vision and partnerships that will move the Internet of Wearable Things ecosystem forward. Group Meetups will include both technical and market-oriented sessions. Wearable Wednesdays are held globally across the world’s top tech centers, including San Francisco, New York, Dallas and London, and we continue to launch new locations periodically. Meet the most innovative wearable tech entrepreneurs in your community, demo products, share ideas and discuss trends in both local and global markets.

Uncommon interests in common

What do two grinders, a futurist, digital product strategist & designer, hacker, mobile developer, space gangster, architect, professor of human augmentics, director of business development, freelance journalist, maker, technology wizard, amputee, cyborg, public speaker, peer educator, industrial UX design engineer, costumer, enthusiast, author, and researcher have in common?  Read more