Theme – “Smartworld”

Living in a Smart World – People as Sensors

ISTAS’13 presenters  and panellists will address the implications of living in smartworlds – smart grids, smart infrastructure, smart homes, smart cars, smart fridges, and with the advent of body-worn sensors like cameras, smart people.

The environment around us is becoming “smarter”. Soon there will be a camera in nearly every streetlight enabling better occupancy sensing, while many appliances and everyday products such as automatic flush toilets, and faucets are starting to use more sophisticated camera-based computer-vision technologies.  Meanwhile, what happens when people increasingly wear these same sensors?

A smart world where people wear sensors such as cameras, physiological sensors (e.g. monitoring temperature, physiological characteristics), location data loggers, tokens, and other wearable and embeddable systems presents many direct benefits, especially for personal applications. However, these same “Wearable Computing” technologies and applications have the potential to become mechanisms of control by smart infrastructure monitoring those individuals that wear these sensors.

There are great socio-ethical implications that will stem from these technologies and fresh regulatory and legislative approaches are required to deal with this new environment.

This event promises to be the beginning of outcomes related to:

  1. Consumer awareness
  2. Usability
  3. A defined industry cluster of new innovators
  4. Regulatory demands for a variety of jurisdictions
  5. User-centric engineering development ideas
  6. Augmented Reality design
  7. Creative computing
  8. Mobile learning applications
  9. Wearables as an assistive technology

“Smart people” interacting with smart infrastructure means that intelligence is driving decisions. In essence, technology becomes society.

Professor Mann University of Toronto will be speaking in the opening keynote panel with acclaimed Professor of MIT Media Arts and Sciences, Marvin Minsky who wrote the groundbreaking book The Society of Mind  and has helped define the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) among his major contributions.

General Chair of ISTAS13 and formerly a member of the MIT Media Lab under the guidance of Nicholas Negroponte in the 1990s Mann is long considered to be the Father of Wearable Computing and AR in this young field.



ISTAS13 will be held 27th, 28th and 29th June 2013. Click here for corresponding dates and times in your location.


ISTAS13 will be held in Toronto, Canada at the University of Toronto (UoT). Click here to view the venue information. * Note – there are several event locations as part of ISTAS13 noted in the main program

Media Releases

Access the General Media statement

Access the short media statement

Access the UoT Media release

Download the official University of Toronto media release

Download the University of Wollongong media release


The IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS) is an annual international forum sponsored by the IEEE Society on the Social Implications of Technology (SSIT). ISTAS13 is the annual symposium of the IEEE Society on the Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) which dates back to 1989.

Call for Papers

The Call for Papers is now closed.


The ISTAS13 event is

a powerful lineup of leaders from various fields of research coming together in a transdisciplinary manner. This symposium will prepare consumers for better understanding innovations in human computing and IT wearables, social implications and likely impacts on users of the technology.


ISTAS ’13 will be a transdisciplinary event for engineers, designers, scientists, artists, researchers in the social sciences, law and humanities, decision makers, entrepreneurs, inventors, commercializers, etc. You are likely to connect with designers, artists, sustainists, scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians (DASSTEMist).


The main program is now available as a web accessible document here.

Important Dates

Click here to visit our important dates page.


You can register online for this event here.


If you are looking for accommodation in Toronto please visit our accommodation page

Organising Committee

The ISTAS13 Organising Committee has worked tirelessly for the last year to bring this important event together.

Program Committee

Visit our Program Committee page to better understand those responsible for the event program.


View the ISTAS13 Reviewers page.


ISTAS13 would not be possible without the valuable contributions by our Volunteers.


We are privileged to have substantial media coverage during this event.


This event has appeared already in many press related publications, articles and online events.


In the lead up to this event there have been many blog posts relating to interesting information that is relevant for those attending this event. The blog also contains links to speakers abstracts and biographies.


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Sites Of Interest in Toronto

  • Royal Ontario Museum
  • Art Gallery of Ontario
  • Eaton Centre (vertical atrium shopping centre)
  • Dundas Square at night (outside the Eaton Centre)
  • CN Tower
  • Canadian Opera Company
  • National Ballet of Canada
  • Distillery District
  • St. Lawrence Market
  • Active Surplus Electronics (famous for engineering enthusiasts), as well as two smaller electronics stores adjacent to UofT.
  • Honest Ed’s (a department store, lit by 23,000 light bulbs at night. Near Bathurst subway station)
  • Boat ride in Toronto harbor (various private tourist boats and sailboats)

Toronto is known for live theatre, in 3rd place behind New York and London.

  • Princess of Wales Theatre
  • Royal Alexandra Theatre
  • Ed Mirvish Theatre
  • Panasonic Theatre
  • Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre
  • Tarragon Theatre
  • Factory Theatre
  • Massey Hall
  • Roy Thompson Hall