El Mercurio: Virtual hugs and intelligent pillows invented in Asia by Amalia Torres

El Mercurio

Name of the newspaper – El Mercurio
Name of the Journalist – Amalia Torres

Title – Virtual hugs and intelligent pillows invented in Asia

Sewing machines, books on the psychology of love and a lot of disorder may not be the image you have of a scientific laboratory. Less from the one who has the difficult task of bringing the virtual world to reality.

However, the Mixed Reality Lab at the National University of Singapore operates on a different logic.

According to Professor José Sepúlveda a Spanish researcher who came to this place, as several scholars and foreign students, motivated by the projects, “we spend all the time discussing ideas and only the craziest ones get to be implemented”.

An example? One of the first inventions from the laboratory was to create a human Pacman. To play, participants carried a backpack with a computer and used special glasses that allowed them to see the city as if it were the classic eighties game. Thus, a player takes the role of Pacman while his friends were the ghosts that had to reach it.

“The original idea was to bring to the physical world what we saw on the screen. But now we go further. We are investigating how to make the interaction complete, using the internet to send information to all the senses such as smell, touch, or taste”says Adrian Cheok, director of the laboratory.

So innovative are the projects that emerge from these students in engineering, design, sociology and psychology that have won dozens of awards in France, Italy, Taiwan and the United States. Here, some of their best ideas.

2.0 Huggy Pajamas

Imagine you are on a business trip away from your son. At night you connect through Skype, read him a story and then you hug him. How? With the “Huggy pajama, a jacket that using air pockets in the back, shoulders and chest, can can give you the sensation of receiving a hug, because it inflates in those areas.
To operate it, the person sending the hug pushes a button in a device connected to the internet. “This project does not replace the real hug, but it helps to feel closer. When we showed the prototype, I received email from a mother whose daugther was in intensive care in the hospital. She wrote to tell us how this could be useful for people like her” says Professor Cheok.

Age Invaders

It is no secret that for many older adults is difficult to play the current computer games, which, however, for children are their favorite pastime. With that in mind, we created “Age Invaders”, a game composed of a large electronic board that is placed on the ground and lights indicating where one must move. Thanks to special slippers, the board knows where the players are, and will deliver different challenges, like chasing a few hearts that light up, or follow the direction of arrows. “This game can bring together different generations, while they exercise together. On the other hand, if the parents want to know what the children and granparents are doing, they can follow the match online online,” says José Sepúlveda.

Playful Utensils

To make a memorable meal, give your guests the latest generation of chopsticks. Here, through an electronic system, the chopsticks create music through the eating movement. The music is transmitted via Wi-Fi and can serve as the soundtrack of the meal. This invention also serves to teach children to use these tools through rhythm.

Poultry Internet

Before creating the “Huggy pajama,” lab students invented and patented a jacket for chickens, a common pet in parts of Asia. The invention works by putting a coat on the animal.
If the owner is not home, he should carry a plastic replica of the pet with a similar jacket (see photo) and connect it to the internet. So, the owner will be able to pet the chicken from a remote location. The project can also be used on dogs and cats.

Robot love

“We want to create a sense of love for robots. So a student is studying what makes us human love: analyzing the movements, physical beauty, tone of voice and psychology,” says Professor José Sepúlveda. “In the future I think there will be robots that have a human couple. There is people that cannot be standed by anyone!” He says. For now, the “lovotics robot is just a prototype.

Safe Kids

“PETIMO (pictured) was born with the idea that there is no safe social networking for children,” says Nimesha Ranasinghe, one of the students in charge of the project. Therefore, the objective of the toy is that, only kids first known in real life can join network in cyberspace. Thus, only when two Petimos approach, children become virtual friends. Then, the robot can let them chat and play them online.

TEDx Zurich 2010

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. PhD student Jeffrey Koh was invited to speak at TEDx Zurich, to present his team’s findings regarding the Liquid Interface project. His report can be found here.

Creative Leap – Empowering Children As Innovators In Developing Countries

Creative Leap

Empowering Children As Innovators In Developing Countries

With Creative Thinking and Technology

 A Blueprint For The New Strategic Thrust of the Keio-NUS CUTE Center

Professor Adrian David Cheok

 October 2010


 New Media and Technology are bringing about radical change in the world today. It is affecting the way we work, live and play, and is opening up new potential for economic, social and cultural development. The rapid evolution of New Media and Technology is also accelerating the rate of globalization and increasing communication, trade and exchange between people from all over the world.

 Developing countries are increasingly leveraging on the tools of New Media and Technology to overcome challenges, and to seize opportunities in the liberalized global landscape. As New Media and Technology are getting increasingly ubiquitous, they have transformed the way people live in regions where resources are still scarce. For example, cell phones are helping farmers in Kenya market their crops. The Internet is helping slum-dwellers in India find Jobs. Radio soap operas are educating the tribal communities in Afghanistan. Online social networking is supporting a student drive to distribute school supplies in rural China. New Media and Technology has woven into the fabric of their everyday life.

Read More:

Report : Bar Camp Seoul

Report : Bar Camp Seoul


Participant : Yongsoon Choi,

Venue: DAUM building, Hannam-dong, Seoul, Korea
Date: Saturday, November 7 2009

Seoul Bar Camp had 2 sessions and many discussion issues. In fact, I could not count on how many discussions were going on at that time because Seoul Bar camp was very flexible un-conference and I could see many enthused volunteers were presenting their researches and ideas freely during the sessions without presentation allocations. This event was started from almost 10 AM and finished 5PM.

Daum Building outlooking

Read More: https://www.mixedrealitylab.org/media/articles/Seoul Bar Camp Report.doc



TEDxCanton aims to convey “ideas worth spreading” to individuals, businesses and institutions in our community and beyond by putting together a program of heavyweight local and international speakers. TEDxCanton engages people in Guangzhou and elsewhere in better understanding Guangzhou’s modernity and heritage, and reach out towards the wider world through motivational, intellectual and entertaining experiences. The theme of the event is “The Overflow of the Heart”, or “心溢新意·畅享创想” in Chinese. The mixed reality lab PhD scholars Wei Jun, and Wang Xuan attended this session and below are their reports on their experiences,

Wang Xuan

Wei Jun