Clever Devices


  • Trend identification, analysis and sythesis
  • Taxonomies of technological devices
  • User centred design and research approaches
  • Prototyping, storyboarding, process flows and wireframes
  • Innovation approaches or processes, including UCD and bottom-up movements
  • Models of communication: one-to-one, one-to-many, one-to-few
  • Interface, navigation and interaction
  • Multisensory, multitouch, gestural interfaces – special focus!

For a summary May 2011 Clever Devices concepts please see summary document found here.


Clever Devices Banner
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 5:30pm


The Mobile Technology project involves the animation of a 3D construct in the form of a digital hologram that is dimensionally super-imposed over the video display. The mobile app and hologram will utilize the fact that the device is GPS connected, and/or using the accelerometers embedded within the devices. The time of day is another feature that can be exploited to create interactivity.

"Stereoscopic 3D gaming is regularly criticized as being uncomfortable and headache inducing after long periods of time. We wish to determine if indeed this is an issue and under what circumstances. Depending on what is learned, we would like game developers to be able to release effective stereoscopic 3D titles that don’t run the risk of dissuading their customers."

The Mobile Technology Project banner
The Mobile Technology Project sample on iPhone
Tilt Maze sample
iPhone tilt maze
3D image on an iPhone
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 7:00pm
Lab Member: 
Michael Page


The PHASE Research Group is partnered through OCADU with the IGO3D consortium to investigate the possible integration of auto-stereoscopic imagery, (in particular, digital holography) in the future of gaming.

Recent developments in digital holography and interactive 3D graphics have made possible a heightened sense of synthetic reality in gaming. As part of the IGO4D group we integrate digital holographic media with digital graphics into an interactive play/workstation. The technologies involved are Baanto interactive displays, Super bright LEDs, and animated digital holograms, and head-tracking.

Black and white abstract images of a face
Still from playable holographic drum set.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 7:00pm


Digital holography has now grown to be a commercially available full-colour process. The state of the art facility for full-colour holograms that may now be printed as large as murals is situated in Toronto. The technology was developed in Canada.

The printing process begins as a series of digital files, typically derived from 3D computer graphics applications such as 3D Studio Max or Maya. Computer graphics production can be a labour-intensive, costly process when one wants to print a hologram of some pre-existing object, such as product shots or automobiles. This limitation greatly impedes the adoption of this technology as a viable medium for real world objects.

The R.A.I.L. (Real-world Acquisition & Image Liaison)  system is configurable for production using high-end digital photographic gear or high-definition & 4K cameras. The software will record living subjects and real objects with absolute precision, adjusting instantaneously for printer specifications. The optically encoded motors will be programmable and will “remember” pre-set compositions, providing exact camera-matched geometry for compositing real-world scenes with computer-generated imagery. This turn-key system can be used by professional photographers, holographers and others, around the world. Images can be FTPed from anywhere to the service bureau in Toronto for printing the next day.

In partnership with STM Holographics, the R.A.I.L. (Real-world Acquisition & Image Liaison) project saw the development of a new technology that enables easy, automated and low-cost capture of live subjects as 3D holographic images.




Portrait of Margaret Atwood made with the RAIL device. Margaret appears in a tropical forest holding a colourful parrot.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 6:45pm
Lab Member: 
Michael Page
Embed Video: 


Holograms you can feel and touch

Haptic Holography was perhaps, first proposed by workers at MIT in the 80s. The Media Lab, headed up by Dr. Stephen Benton, with published papers by Wendy Plesiak and Ravi Pappuh.

Recent developments in both the technology of digital holography and haptics have made it practical to conduct further investigations. Haptic holography is auto-stereoscopic and provides co-axial viewing for the user. Most existing haptic simulations are displayed on 2D computer screens. The user has difficulty navigating the 3D haptic environment due to uncertain spatial relationships. The holographic environment allows the user to grasp the spatial relationship of the haptic space.

Haptic holography may find application in medical & surgical training and as a new form of synthetic reality for artists and designers.

Michael Page, who is the Principal Investigator on the project. Michael has more than 30 years experience in holography, more than 20 years in digital holography. He is a Professor with the Faculty of Fine Art at OCAD U and a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Optical Sciences at the University of Toronto.




Image of Haptic Holography
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 6:45pm
Lab Member: 
Michael Page
Embed Video: 


Digital Holography is at the top of 3-D visualization techniques because it is auto-stereoscopic and does not require a computer to view. It also contains many of the visual cues to the brain that we receive when viewing real-world objects and scenes.

Data visualization has often been limited to 2-D imagery even though the original data is obtained three-dimensionally. DECI (Dynamic Electrical Cortical Imaging) uses EEG data sets to create a dimensional visualization constructed from nodes that localize brain activity. In particular, responses to stimuli. Recordings have been made with subjects listening to music, meditating and sleeping.

Our research will attempt to explain the methods, flow and experiments used to formulate a holographic printing process.

Challenges to overcome include:

(1) creating a brain model in a commercially standard 3-D format, 

(2) integrate this model into a standardized hologram printing format, and

(3) creating a blueprint of an experimental software to facilitate this workflow today and in the future. 


We set out to data sets recorded by Dr. Doidge and his team could be accurately translated into camera ready artwork for two distinct types of holographic printers. One from the PHASE Research Group and a commercial  service bureau, STM Holographic.

These holograms not only represent the data in 3-D, they also relay time-based data, changes in electrical activity in the brain over time.


In collaboration with Mark Diodge, a scientist in the field of brain imaging at Cerebral Diagnostics Canada Inc., the PHASE research group is developing an interface to bring these compelling images into the medium of digital holography.

Digital Holography - Brian Hologram Banner
Monday, January 26, 2015 - 6:30pm
Lab Member: 
Michael Page

OCAD U team wins People’s Choice Award at Level Up Showcase

Player using 3-D goggles to play game
Three people looking at video game monitor
Crowd of people at Level Up Showcase
Friday, April 8, 2016 - 4:00am

Students from OCAD U’s Digital Futures program joined 17 other Ontario colleges and universities taking part in the sixth annual Level Up Student Games Showcase on April 6. Close to 2,000 people filled the main floor of the Design Exchange as student teams demonstrated their games and met with industry representatives and talent scouts.

Three awards were given out:

  • People’s Choice Award – Plunder! OCAD University/University of Toronto
  • Technical Innovation Award – Ominous Games from UOIT
  • Best Overall Game Award and Best Artistic Achievement – Arrow Heads from Sheridan

Level Up began when OCAD U Assistant Professor Emma Westecott teamed up with the University of Toronto’s Steve Engels to collaborate on a small student project. Now it’s the biggest event of its kind in Ontario.

The evening was organized and co-hosted by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), University of Toronto, OCAD University and Algonquin College, in partnership with AMD, George Brown College, Sheridan College and Ubisoft Toronto.

To find out more, see media coverage in the Toronto Star, CBC News and the Financial Post. Ryan Mason, third-year Digital Futures student, was interviewed on CBC’s Metro Morning.



Destination: Tomorrow

Saturday, April 16, 2016 - 4:00pm to Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 9:00pm

Join us for the fourth annual Digital Futures’ Masters’ program thesis exhibition, Destination : Tomorrow, showcasing 22 graduate students’ thesis work. This year’s exhibition is rich with digital storytelling, innovative geo-locative interactions and mind-expanding travels in Augmented Reality (AR). Come see how innovation and technology in the 21st century brings us together and changes the way we interact with the world around us.

Public Gallery Hours:
April 16 & 17: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
April 18 & 19: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
April 20: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

More about the Digital Futures' Graduate Program:



Venue & Address: 
Open Gallery @ 49 McCaul, Toronto
Poster for DF Graduate Student Group Thesis Exhibition

5 questions for digital trailblazer Ana Serrano

Ana Serrano, adjunct professor in OCAD U’s Digital Futures graduate program, has won the Digital Media Trailblazing Award at the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards. She is also the Chief Digital Officer of the Canadian Film Centre and Founder of CFC Media Lab, the world-renowned and award-winning institute for interactive storytelling created in 1997.


Congratulations on your Digital Media Trailblazing Award at the Canadian Screen Awards! How does it feel to be recognized like this?

It feels great and a little bit overwhelming. I feel quite honoured.


As Chief Digital Officer of the Canadian Film Centre and founder of the CFC Media Lab, what are the biggest changes you’ve witnessed in the past almost-20 years in the Canadian digital media scene?

The biggest change has to do with the adaptability, nimbleness and quick uptake of audiences. I didn’t expect the changes we’ve seen to be so constant.

I’ve also noticed the slowness of the rest of the industry to keep pace in relation to how quickly audiences have adopted to new digital media. 

The third thing that I’m just starting to notice with each new tech platform and perceived tech leapfrog is that there’s an initial stage when we think we’ve created something new, such as virtual reality.  We think we don’t have to look back. It’s true to a certain extent but there’s so much that’s happened in the past that informed it and we forget.


Photo of Ana Serrano


The CFC Media Lab is a partner with OCAD U’s Digital Futures program — why do you think this is an important partnership?

The CFC Media Lab always started with a mandate about talent — how do we help support and incubate the next generation of storytellers using whatever platform of the future. So, it seemed totally a no-brainer that as universities kept pace with changes in digital media that we’d partner with a university that can grant degrees.


Tell us about your IDEABOOST accelerator.

IDEABOOST is a digital entertainment accelerator. As talent, industry and audiences grow, the next phase is working with companies. IDEABOOST is focused on investment seeding and support for tech-based entertainment companies that are changing the face of entertainment in Canada.


What led you to working in digital media and why do you still love it?

I’ve always been interested in humanities and focused on storytelling. My first digital touchpoint was running a fiction and poetry magazine at McGill University. I started publishing the magazine digitally and I started to love the digital medium. I was later hired by Don Tapscott, with whomI learned a lot about the impact of the new medium.

I love digital media because it’s always new. I’m enamoured with taking risks, being first, doing something no one else has done, supporting underdogs and seeing difficult ideas come to life. Digital media is always changing and reinventing itself and I enjoy the complexity of it.





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Digital Futures Industry Day brings opportunities to campus

Image of students seated at a presentation
Vice Canada representative speaking to students
Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 5:00am

OCAD University students sat down recently with representatives from 19 companies from the digital industries to learn more about the businesses and make career connections.

The Digital Futures program has been hosting Industry Day for three years, inviting industry partners to present their companies, projects and vision to students for internships and other opportunities. This year, participating companies included Ubisoft, Vice Media, Corus Entertainment and Idea Couture.

The students offer value to the host organizations through their expertise in digital innovation driven by OCAD U’s curriculum in wearables, game design, transmedia, design fiction, AR/VR development, Internet of Things, mobile and location-based design, ideation and rapid prototyping.

The event is open to both graduate and undergraduate students at all levels seeking summer internships. The internships are linked to courses with academic outcomes that expand the scope of students’ studies at OCAD U.

This initiative occurs in partnership with OCAD U’s Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers (CEAD), which provides ongoing support for any paid internships that may emerge from the event.