The Financial District has a glittery tech playground
The Deloitte Greenhouse sets up big businesses with problem-solving toys, gadgets and robots
The Deloitte Greenhouse might be the most fun you can have in the Financial District. Housed in the firm’s office at Yonge and Adelaide, the space teems with high-tech gadgets: drones, 3-D printers, a real-life Star Trek tricorder, VR headsets, and an adorable AI customer-service robot named Pepper. The space looks like a Toys ‘R’ Us of the future, but it has weighty ambitions: when C-suite types at Canada’s biggest corporations—including TD, the Toronto Blue Jays and Infrastructure Ontario—need to solve impossible business problems, they pen up inside the Greenhouse for visits that last anywhere from a few hours to two days. Deloitte staff plan sessions tailored to the issue at hand, showing off tech and strategies that might help solve it—wearables that measure vitals and track location, for example, were a good fit for a mining company concerned with workers’ safety. The end goal? To introduce game-changing gizmos, spur inventive ideas, and pair slow-moving megafirms with nimble start-ups that can help them code, data-crunch and 3-D print their way out of any problem. Here, a look at some of the space’s coolest tech.
This corner contains the Greenhouse’s arsenal of 3-D printers. Greenhouse staff built the model on the left themselves, while the orange printer is by Formlabs, and the unit below is the CubeX trio:
Kitchener health-tech company Cloud DX developed this unit, the Vitaliti, as an entry for the Qualcomm Tricorder X-Prize—a competition to develop the sort of device seen on Star Trek. Patients wear the band around their neck and insert a piece in their ear, and doctors can measure and diagnose a wide range of conditions, including tuberculosis, asthma, and more. The invention was one of the competition’s two winners:
The Greenhouse is also home to a range of AR and VR headsets, including the HTC Vive. Visitors can strap it on and take a virtual reality tour of the International Space Station:
Terepac, a Waterloo company, creates inserts for fire hydrants that can detect leaking pipes, high and low pressure, and freezing water damage:
Montreal’s Hexoskin produces a line of “smart shirts,” which can measure heart rate, breathing rate, step count, calories burnt, and more. Mining companies have outfitted their workers with the wearables to ensure their safety: