Distinguished Lecture

Homecoming Lecture: Computers That We Can Wear

Babak Parviz

Vice President
Friday, October 31, 2014
1:30pm - 2:30pm
1500 EECS

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About the Event

Exponential progress of computing and the associated technologies as manifested by Moore’s Law have enabled extreme miniaturization, low power operation, and multi-function integration. Many programs at the University of Michigan in the past two decades have directly contributed to this transformative progress. These trends and new capabilities are creating opportunities for building devices that interact with the user and the environment in novel ways. Examples of such devices include Google Glass, smart watches, body monitors, and the forward looking smart contact lenses.

A pioneering device has been Google Glass, which is a communication and computing device in an unconventional form factor. It enables entirely new ways of interacting with computing systems and the environment. Google Glass integrates a number of sophisticated components including display, camera, multiple sensors, and much more in a compact form factor, and offers very rapid access to information. This brief presentation provides the background and some of the reasoning for why developing wearable computing devices including Glass might have reached a tipping point and how they might evolve in the future.


Babak Parviz is the creator of Google Glass and cofounder of the Smart Contact Lens program at Google. His work has been put on display at the London Museum of Science and has received numerous honors, including Popular Science’s Grand Award: Best of What is New (2013); CNN10 Invention (2013); Time magazine’s Best Invention of the Year (2008 and 2012), and Your Health’s Top 10 Medical Advance of the Year (2008). He received the IEEE CAS Society Industrial Pioneer Award for 2014.

Babak’s areas of interest span high-tech with social impact, novel communication and computing paradigms, biotechnology, nano and micro technology, photonics, and engineering at scale.

From 2000 to 2001 he was with Nanovation Technologies as a designer and product manager for photonic devices. From 2001 to 2003 he was a postdoctoral fellow in chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard University. He joined the University of Washington Department of Electrical Engineering in 2003, and he remains affiliated with the department. He was with Google from 2010 to 2014 where he was a Google Distinguished Engineer and a Director at Google [x]. Dr. Parviz is currently Vice President at Amazon, Inc.

Additional Information

Contact: Jason Davis, Alumni Affairs Coordinator


Sponsor(s): Electrical and Computer Engineering

Open to: Public