Walter De Brouwer

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Walter De Brouwer
Walter de Brouwer 2011-11-09.jpg
Born Walter De Brouwer
(1957-05-09)9 May 1957
Aalst, Belgium
Residence Los Altos, California
Occupation Co-founder, CEO of Scanadu
Religion Christian
Spouse(s) Sam De Brouwer
Children 3

Walter De Brouwer ([dəˈbʁʌuəʁ]; born May 9, 1957) is a Belgian-born Internet and technology entrepreneur and semiotician. He is a co-founder and the CEO of Scanadu in Mountain View, Calif. In 2013, De Brouwer was a finalist for a World Technology Award in the category of Health & Medicine (Individual).[1]


De Brouwer was born in Aalst, Belgium. He earned a Masters degree in linguistics from the University of Ghent in 1980 and a PhD in Semiotics from Tilburg University in 2005.[2] He was a lecturer at the University of Antwerp (UFSIA) and an adjunct professor at the International University of Monaco from 2001-2004.[3] He is an Entrepreneur in Residence with the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge since 2004.[4] He sits on the editorial advisory board of the Journal for Chinese Entrepreneurship.[5]


De Brouwer set up Riverland Publications in 1990 to publish personal computer magazines.[6] In 1994, De Brouwer sold his titles to VNU. He then published the cyberpunk magazine Wave, edited by Michel Bauwens and designed by Niels Shoe Meulman. Wave was a cult Belgian avantgarde magazine that joined Boing-Boing and Mondo 2000 as a bridge between the underground and the world of the future.[7]


In 1996, De Brouwer was one of the founders of PING, later sold to EUnet.[8] In April 1998, the company was sold to Qwest Communications International, which in turn later merged EUnet in with the ill-fated KPNQwest.[9] In 1999, his electronic employment site Jobscape[10] merged with eight similar sites to make up Stepstone. Stepstone went public with a price tag of £365m on the London Stock Exchange.[11] In 2008, De Brouwer set up OLPC Europe, the European branch of One Laptop per Child.[12][13][14]

Research labs[edit]

In 1996, De Brouwer set up Starlab.[15][16][17] It specialized in blue skies research,[18] deep future research,[19] and BANG (Bits, Atoms, Neurons and Genes) research. Starlab produced generic patents in intelligent clothing,[20] and worked on time travel.[21] One of its spinoffs ( was collecting spit for personal genomics typing.[22] The laboratory closed during the dot-com bubble in 2001.[23][24]

In 2011 De Brouwer joined the Brain-Computer-Interface company Emotiv, where he became the CEO of Europe.[25] He is a board member of Tau Zero Foundation, formerly known as NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program, which has published the state-of-the-art work The Frontiers of Propulsion.[26]


De Brouwer is a co-founder and the CEO of Scanadu, a company located at the NASA Ames Research Park in California. Scanadu is developing consumer health diagnostic devices such as the Scanadu Scout, designed to measure various physiological parameters such as temperature, heart rate, blood oxygenation, respiratory rate, ECG, and diastolic/systolic blood pressure.[27][28] Scanadu is seeking approval of the device by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before bringing it to market in 2015 to ensure clinical-grade accuracy.[29] Scanadu has received a number of accolades, such as being named as one of VentureBeat’s 26 Amazing Startups You Need to Watch in 2014.[30]

Other activities[edit]

De Brouwer is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and served as President of RSA Europe from 2006 to 2008.[31] He is a member of TED and curator of TEDxBrussels and is a sponsor of Quantified Self Labs.[32] He was a distinguished lecturer at the National Science Foundation in 2013.[33]

De Brouwer has two children with his current wife and a daughter from a previous marriage.


  • De Brouwer, Walter; Ayris, Stephen (1985). Computer Buzz words : Teacher's guide. Wolters Leuven, ISBN 90-309-0815-7
  • De Brouwer, Walter (1985). Cybercrud : computer terminology for advanced students of informatics and industrial engineering. Wolters Leuven, ISBN 90-309-0819-X
  • Vanneste, Alex; Geens D, De Brouwer, Walter (1987). Het Nieuwe Landschap, Wolters Leuven, ISBN 90-309-0825-4
  • De Brouwer, Walter (2004). Echelon: Three can keep a Secret, if Two of them are Dead. Delaware, ASIN B004J3UHGG
  • De Brouwer, Walter (2004). The biology of language: the post-modern deconstruction and denarration of modern and pre-modern grand narratives. Universiteit van Tilburg, ISBN 978-90-810022-1-9


  1. ^ "The 2013 World Technology Award Finalists". Website. The World Technology Network. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  2. ^ De Brouwer, Walter (2004). The biology of language: the post-modern deconstruction and denarration of modern and pre-modern grand narratives. Universiteit van Tilburg, ISBN 978-90-810022-1-9
  3. ^ International University of Monaco Faculty: Walter De Brouwer (Adjunct)
  4. ^ Entrepreneur in Residence Walter De Brouwer via University of Cambridge Judge Business School
  5. ^ Journal for Chinese Entrepreneurship
  6. ^ BELGIUM Major Manufacturers Directory. Business Information Agency, ISBN 978-1-4187-8348-8
  7. ^
  8. ^ Schroller, Alex; King, Tim (January 4, 2010). Smart ways to improve innovation. European Voice
  9. ^,-Qwest-team-on-European-network/2100-1033_3-218186.html
  10. ^ Schroller, Alex; King, Tim (January 4, 2010). Smart ways to improve innovation. European Voice
  11. ^
  12. ^ Fildes, Jonathan (December 23, 2009). OLPC Unveils slimline tablet PC. BBC News
  13. ^ Hartley, Adam (May 1, 2010). How OLPC plans to give 30 million kids in Africa a laptop by 2015. TechRadar
  14. ^ Curtis, Sophie (January 11, 2010). Poor Families to get Government Laptops. eWeek Europe
  15. ^ Kalia, Kirin (August 9, 2000). Belgium: Europe's Overlooked Diamond-in-the-Rough (Part II). Silicon Alley Daily
  16. ^ Lane, Frederick S. (2003) The naked employee: how technology is compromising workplace privacy, p. 54. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn, ISBN 978-0-8144-7149-4
  17. ^ Bilefsky, Dan (April 2, 2001). Where the deep future is familiar territory The Financial Times
  18. ^ Geary, James (November 22, 2000). The Web site that wants your spit. CNN
  19. ^ Discovery Channel (September 2000). StarLab segment via YouTube
  20. ^ Fashion at the Edge: Spectacle, Modernity, and Deathliness’, C. Evans, pg. 276
  21. ^ D'Amico, Mary Lisbeth (July 2, 2001). Tornado Insider: Lights Out at Starlab Tornado Insider
  22. ^
  23. ^ Giles, Jim (2001). Utopian dream in tatters as Starlab falls to earth. In D. Butler, Ed. Nature Yearbook of Science and Technology, p. 412 Palgrave Macmillan (2002) ISBN 978-0-333-97147-5
  24. ^ Casonato, Regina; Jones, Nick (2002) How will enterprises achieve a return on investment in knowledge management? Gartner, Inc.
  25. ^!/emotiv/statuses/83300043666370560
  26. ^
  27. ^ Gorman, Michael (22 May 2013). "Scanadu finalizes Scout tricorder design, wants user feedback to help it get FDA approval". Engadget. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  28. ^ Vogelbaum, Lauren. "How the Scanadu SCOUT Works". Blog post. FW:Thinking. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  29. ^ Higginbotham, Stacey (12 November 2013). "Scanadu scores $10.5M and paves the way for FDA trials". GigaOM. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  30. ^ Tweney, Dylan (31 December 2013). "26 amazing startups you need to watch in 2014". VentureBeat. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  31. ^ Chairman of RSA Europe Fellowship
  32. ^ Ramirez, Ernesto. "What We Are Reading". Website. Quantified Self. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  33. ^ "Dr. Walter De Brouwer of Scanadu Visits IIP". YouTube video. National Science Foundation. Retrieved 9 May 2014.