Talk:Steve Mann

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Steve Mann's evident use of Wikipedia for personal promotion[edit]

Here's a selection of some of the multiple Wikipedia articles in which Steve Mann appears with unrelated, ambiguous, self-referenced or misleading information:

I don't understand why Wikipedia allows this. In most articles he appears as a pioneer and inventor with no reliable references. He also creates completely new articles to explain his own projects. And he appears to be a pioneer in many fields since the 1970s whereas he was still a teenager in 1979. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Graham apartknows (talkcontribs) 02:26, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Use of term "implants"[edit]

There is no supporting evidence for the use of the term "implants". The following article suggests that the pain of having the equipment removed was caused by pulled hair: I don't think Dr. Mann has implants as such.

Discussion about article[edit]

Note: Glogger, who has just substantially expanded this article appears to be Steve himself (unless it is merely an impersonator). It might therefore require some work to make sure this fits our Neutral Point of View policy. Although, given that the last person to edit before that was moink, whose comment sits above, that was probably the case already! - IMSoP 02:42, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)

the following was removed from the article itself (added in this version by an anonymous user) by IMSoP 20:26, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Posting as "glogger" Steve Mann is well known in the community for having sucessfully created neologisms on Wikipedia and used the selfsame references to further legitamize these concepts. A few examples: Eyetap; CyborgLog, sousveillance. Whether this sort of action constitutes abuse is the subject of ongoing debate. Interestingly, Glogger has also contributed to this article. It also seems like much of the support for keeping the previous articles stems from supporters, close associates, and employees of Dr. Mann (with the notable exception of a certain Maneesh whose contributions under that name were unsucessful bids to terminate the ambiguous neologisms).

There is also widespread support for his pioneering work, beyond former grad students. What is your problem, what do you have against him? seems to have a personal vandetta, or personal political issue here (i.e. attempts at speedy deletion of articles that have already survived the peer review process of a full VfD, etc.).

I'll go on record as seconding the comments above (Posting as... ambiguous neologisms). It is indisputable that Steve Mann uses Wikipedia for personal promotion. It appears that he gets away with it since he has some name recognition; this makes it only marginally tolerable. Wile E. Heresiarch 05:44, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)
On the other hand, you can also call it documenting valid research rather than something base like personal promotion. The risk of self-congratulory propaganda isn't a reason to forbid a person from making an edit to a topic about themselves or something they're related to. That's why everyone on Wiki can perform peer review... Krupo 04:23, Oct 27, 2004 (UTC)
It's perfectly fine. Just stick to the principles in Wikipedia:Vanity page. - Omegatron 23:04, May 8, 2005 (UTC)

Cyborg theme[edit]

I consolidated the "cyborg" theme, including the movie, because there seems to be were the personal and very public items occur. 22:03, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Counterpoint to the Air Canada incident claims.[edit]

Regarding the description of the Air Canada incident, while the "Mann as Cyborg" paragraph _is_ careful to note that the statement involved are claims of Prof. Mann's, as opposed to verified fact, it might be useful to link statements from people who have actually worked with him (perhaps scour Slashdot for the old threads on the subject; a few of his grad students spoke up there). Specifically:

  • Contrary to the claims quoted, Prof. Mann had no "cybernetic implants" at the time of the incident. He had his usual wearable computer rig, and ECG electrodes glued to his chest to measure heart activity.
  • Contrary to claims Prof. Mann frequently makes, he appears to function without any impairment without his "reality mediation" goggles. I've seen him in the lab routinely without them, as have several other students who have worked with him. His eyeglasses are just eyeglasses (and I've seen him without them, too) - it's the wraparound shades that are the wearable computer display.
  • Contrary to claims Prof. Mann had been reported to make to security personnel at Air Canada, his computer equipment would not have been damaged by passing through the x-ray machine, and could have been power-toggled to demonstrate functionality (the test usually asked for electronics that you don't want to put through the x-ray). At the time of the incident, his "wearcomps" were off the shelf "Cappuccino" small form-factor PCs that had been slightly modified.

All of this information is first-hand, from the time that I worked with Prof. Mann on a fourth-year project, and from interactions during my MASc (my cube was right next to his lab, and some of the facilities I used were in the lab itself). I feel that it is important for the controversy over Prof. Mann's claims to be reflected in the article. --Christopher Thomas 16:15, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

I'd like to add, as a newcomer to all this, that the description of Mann's cyborg gear is inadequate for an encyclopedia. There needs to be a description of what Mann wears, has had implanted, etc for three reasons. 1] It's an enactment/part of his research. 2] It's the cause of media attn and public awareness, hence interest in reading the article. 3] Without that, the dramatic airport story doesn't make sense, and maybe should not be reported at all without stronger "according to Mann's claims" type of language. The external links add some but don't address this problem, beyond tantalizing suggestions. Thx, and hope this helps, "alyosha" (talk) 22:34, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

At the time I was interacting with him (in the fall term of 1999, for directly working with him, and from fall 2000 through the end of summer 2003, for being in the same lab), he had no implanted devices whatsoever. He had computers that were carried in a fanny pack at his belt, which connected to wearable displays that looked like wraparound shades. Accessories that I know about are webcam-type cameras (not sure how they were mounted, as I didn't get a look at those rigs), and ECG electrodes (which he didn't usually wear at the time I was at U of T) which I heard him describe as being glued to his skin to measure heart activity. At the time I worked with him, the computers were off-the-shelf "cappuccino" small form-factor PCs, and the displays were commercially available wearable displays (though I've seen a patch-wired electronics rig in one of his setups, and he tried at one point to integrate displays into eyeglass lenses, without success). His usual claim at the time I was working near him was that he had "reality mediation software" constantly running that took camera data and gave him a synthetic view of reality on his visor (top-down map was one claim that was reported to me, though I didn't hear him say _that_ one directly), and that he can't function without this modified view of the world. In practice, I'm not sure his systems at the time were capable of doing exactly what was described under real-world conditions, and he routinely walked around the lab (and university) without his display. --Christopher Thomas 05:32, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Can we get a list of the actual equipment he wears on a regular basis (not the promo photo from 1981)? "Implants", the very subtle display glasses, etc. — Omegatron 19:57, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Subscription required for NYT[edit]

Following the sense of Wikipedia_talk:External_links, i added a signup warning for the NYT. I bet something better could be found that wouldn't put readers thru signup. Thx, hope this helps, "alyosha" (talk) 22:37, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

"question re patent references"[edit]

It would appear that the references to patent numbers given in the article - ' stitching' and 'camera dynamic range' have been entered into the paragraph referred to by the other - I didn't presume to correct this, but imagine someone should...

"wearable evolution" image[edit]

someone want to make an update to that image? it's a bit dated —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:01, 4 June 2009 (UTC)


  • The article said Mann was the first to "automatically extend dynamic range in an image by combining multiple differently exposed pictures of the same subject matter". Does it mean he invented High dynamic range imaging (I think Mann claims this)? If so, a proper English explanation and link are due.

Answer: "The first report of digitally combining multiple pictures of the same scene to improve dynamic range appears to be Mann." in "Estimation-theoretic approach to dynamic range enhancement using multiple exposures" by Robertson etal, JEI 12(2), p220, right column, line 26

  • The article should explain why he was refered to as Cyborg. Did he have implants then? If he has ones nowadays, this is also noteworthy. (talk) 18:03, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

His EyeTap glasses are apparently bolted to his skull. Does this count?--Auric (talk) 03:43, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

French McDonald's Publicity Stunt[edit]

The title of that section sounds like it was proven to be a publicity stunt, rather than an accusation of one.--Oscaron (talk) 19:08, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

There's no evidence in support that this is a publicity stunt[edit]

There is no evidence to support that Mann initiated this interaction. He was merely stopping off at McDonalds as part of a trip, with his eyeglass on the whole time of the trip (not just McDonalds). His reason (from his blog) for going to McDonalds was that he needed to use the washroom and he knew that McDonalds had "cyborg friendly" washrooms (i.e. multiple unisex single-person rooms).— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 09:21, July 21, 2012

Contentious material about living persons that is poorly sourced[edit]

The only sources here are the popular press, and speculation + hearsay.

Therefore this material is not suitable for a biography of living persons.

Rather than outright deletion of this material, however, there is a proper place for this material in the McDonalds Wikipedia entry under "Controversies".

Many BLP entries are from the popular press.
P.S. Please sign your contributions. Bellagio99 (talk) 14:27, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

my comments are being removed[edit]

I want to know why my comments are being removed on the talk page. Glogger (Steve Mann himself) is the heaviest contributor in many subjects related with the technology (e.g. See sousvelliance, and it is an attempt to use wikipedia as an advertising platform. It appears to me , even the neutrality of the Talk page is in dispute. Dsnipper (talk) 17:37, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi, that was me, it's for two reasons: (1) If you have an issue with any Steve Mann's contributions to this page, point out which edits he did that are factually incorrect, it's not fair to just accuse a man of self-advertising without any specific evidence, for example, he isn't calling himself the world's first cyborg, that is a quote from magazines/papers, so just point out which edits you think he did that are factually incorrect, but no character assassinations please (2) You're a bit of a vandal see: (I like Ali G as much as anyone else, but come on!) Damiantgordon (talk) 21:57, 16 August 2012 (UTC)


Why photo was changed? Revision comment says 'Updated the 2 pictures (clearer pictures)', yet i think its now just fragment of previous photo. Maybe it wasn't best photo of Steve Mann, but at-least there was his face, and now there is more of this AR device on this picture than his face. I think this change should be reverted. (talk) 11:53, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Self promotion[edit]

Is there evidence that this individual should be identified as "self promoting" (more than anyone else)? I have removed that reference but if it is accurate can someone give a citation for why it should be left in place?-- 🍺 Antiqueight confer 21:03, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

"Temporary" storage "buffer" and Publicity Stunt[edit]

I'm not sure if this is relevant but I want to weigh in on the publicity stunt theme. One has to question if the "temporary storage buffer" is either temporary or a buffer:

"Due to the employees alleged rough handling of the device, which he claimed was soundly attached to his head, the temporary storage buffer in the computer system could no longer be overwritten by new images, the damage to the system thus causing photos of these persons to remain stored in the glass memory."

As a computer engineer, I can definitively say that it is extremely unlikely that the memory stopped recording and saved very clear images of the McDonald's employees (published on but was not broken all together. This lends credence to the idea that this is a publicity stunt.--Rotellam1 (talk) 23:07, 30 October 2013 (UTC)


I wonder whether the publications list is correct. E.g., did he write the book on Palm programming? Or was it written by somebody else (who is accidentally called Steve Mann)? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:47, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

Interesting question. There is a Steve Mann, former CEO and President of Creative Digital Publishing and former editor of Handheld Systems magazine. According to this biography from 1999 he "holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science and a M.S. in accounting, and has 25 years of experience in the computer industry, including software development, hardware design, consulting, and product analysis. He has written literally hundreds of articles and reviews for numerous publications, including InfoWorld, Dr. Dobbs, BYTE, MacWorld, Wireless for the Corporate User, Computer Currents, MacWeek, The San Jose Mercury News, Handheld Systems, and Pen Computing". Given that the subject of this article was born in 1962 the claim that he had 25 years of experience in the computer industry in 1999 is presumably a mistake on the part of the biography writers.
The bio goes on to mention that he is working on a book, which must be Programming Applications with the Wireless Application Protocol. The "authors acknowledgement" section of that book has a statement from Steve Mann thanking his wife, Betty, also revealing that he has a sister. The Steve Mann of this article is married to a woman called Betty, and the other details I can dig up match, so they appear to be the same person. Presumably he churns out technical books to pay the rent. -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 13:44, 20 November 2016 (UTC)
Ashley, I cannot answer your question directly, but the Steve Mann I know started programming in high school, got his advanced degrees at MIT, and has been a Prof. of Computer Engineering for many years at the University of Toronto. "Churns out" is pejorative. He is a serious scholar.Bellagio99 (talk) 21:38, 20 November 2016 (UTC)