Wirelessly Transmit Your Brain Signals : Innovation From Dusk ‘Til Dawn at Nuit Blanche 2013

Ali Hirji, ORION Community Development Manager

Not too long ago, Sana Mulji Dutt, Senior Research Communications Specialist at Baycrest Health Sciences submitted a space request to ORION’s O3 Collaboration database. I receive a number of these requests in a given week but this one was rather unique. Unlike most space requests, Sana did not need ORION’s support to create a private collaboration setup for a group of researchers. Instead she asked if we could use an O3 space to rally volunteers to participate in a study and wirelessly transmit their brain signals to a team of Canadian innovators at Baycrest Health Sciences and the University of Toronto‘s Faculty of Medicine.

A routine, mundane request suddenly illuminated with magic and excitement. And, as if requesting access to your brain signals was not enough, this was just ONE of the many projects she wanted to tell the world about via O3.

For now, meet My Virtual Dream. And, no, you do not need a login to view this because O3 now supports public collaboration platforms and the greater public can now witness your innovative engines at work. We recently profiled Baycrest’s use of O3 and My Virtual Dream along with our other BIG Idea stories.

Photo Credit: David Pisarek
Photo Credit: David Pisarek

For ORION, the My Virtual Dream project embodies the collaborative ethos we speak of in our 5 C’s. It reveals the limitless potential that results when innovators are given a forum to innovate with one another. And not only does the installation represent the multi-disciplinary tone of innovation, it also shows how community partnerships can be built on well supported digital spaces like O3. With blogs, forums, wikis and microblogs, the public can now weigh in on this work and perhaps play a role in conquering issues in mental health: it is, indeed, an honor to support such work and mobilize the community around it.

You can meet the team in person and even share your own dreams at Nuit Blanche 2013 where My Virtual Dream will be displayed to the public. My Virtual Dream will take place over 12 hours on October 5, starting at 6:52 PM in front of the Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building at the corner of University Avenue and College Street, Toronto. This installation is sure to be a memorable experience combining art, science and technology.

Our CEO, Darin Graham has always impressed upon us our crucial role in realizing innovations. Inventions, he said in an intranet blog to our team, are when research realizes something novel within the lab. Innovation is when the invention is carried beyond the labs and into the community.

I am extremely humbled to evidence this through our latest work with Baycrest and hope to see you at Nuit Blanche!