University of Oregon Wearable Computing Laboratory

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Jim Suruda with IBM wearable computer prototype

Wearable Communities

Wearable Communities is the umbrella project at the University of Oregon that investigates the use of cutting-edge mobile and wearable computing technology to assist people during social encounters in the real world: when people meet on the way to the office, in the elevator, or at the grocery store. Wearable Communities are about how people will interact with each other in the future. The Wearable Communities project asks "How will cellphones, PDAs and other assorted wearable computer technologies effect the way people interact and form communities in the future.


CAT, the Context-Aware Toolkit, is a middleware that provides tools for the quick development and deployment of context-aware applications for mobile or even non-mobile devices. Some of the features of CAT are: *Local context acquisition. *Remote Sensing (accomplished through joining SIGs). *Ability to create soft sensors that are a combination of other sensors. *Ability to create simple or complex sensor hierarchy networks. *History of all local and remote context. *Ability to predict future context based on history. *Small footprint. CAT’s binary files are only 200K. *CAT can be deployed on most Java platforms including PersonalJava. *Provides basic p2p communication and discovery of agents running CAT. *Local context acquisition. For further information please visit the CAT Web Site.


iSIM is a wearable computing environment simulator. This, in-house developed, simulator has been extremely useful for testing several wearable and context-aware applications prior to real world deployment. Some of the features of iSIM are: *Simulation of various contexts: light, sound, gps, temperature, wifi networks, and much more. *Supports multiple agents interacting. *Simulates adhoc networks and multicasting. *Supports autonomous and scripted agents. *Simulates topographical maps and building structures. *Sensors and contexts are plugable. *Used extensively in testing CAT applications. For further information please visit the iSIM Web Site.


Proem is a platform for developing & deploying Peer to Peer (P2P) collaborative applications in a mobile ad-hoc networking environment. The Proem platform consists of three major components: *Proem Runtime Environment (Peerlet Engine) *Proem Applications (Peerlets) *Proem Peerlet Development Kit (PDK) As part of the Wearable Communities project Proem provides a middleware system for developing platform independant P2P wearable communities applications. For further information please visit the Proem Web Site.


Auranet is the University of Oregon's Wearable Computing groups implementation of a wearable community. The Auranet is the network of computing devices that exist in a person's social space or "Aura". The Auranet is where people and their personal computing devices have face-to-face encounters. The idea of wearable community is based on the belief that non-monetary exchange of value is the essence of community. A community is about helping each other, about shared values, and creating and managing mutually beneficial relations. In that respect, wearable communities are similar to community web sites on the Internet. Their common goal is to use technology to enhance the spirit of cooperation. But what community sites do it in Cyberspace, wearable communities do in real life.

Wearable Assistant for Cognitively Impaired Individuals

We are looking at a wearable assistant for those with cognitive impairments (e.g., Traumatic brain injury, dementia). The assistant will have access to GPS information to track a user's location. It will have Internet access to alert a care-giver that help is needed. Finally, it will be able to establish Point to Point connections with good samaritans in the local vicinity for assistance. We are currently working on the software architecture that will support such a system. A graduate seminar was run in spring of 2000 & 2001 to prototype and develop components for this system. Contact for more details.

Past Projects:

  • Netman
  • Mediwear
  • The Oregon Wearable Computer