Device of the week: Ophone

Image result for ophoneOphone is a device that connects to our phones. Upon receiving a food related text, the “oSnap” app on our phones will alert the Ophone to release the smell of the text. This allows users to send and receive electronic aroma messages. Through this device, complex scent texting can be integrated into our mobile messaging life, allowing us to add dimension to our texts by sharing sensory experiences as well. The products aims to enhance our text messaging experience by incorporating smell into the context. ophone photo.jpg

The oPhone DUO is able to diffuse over 300,000 unique aromas due to the small circular cartridges that fits inside the device. The oPhone DUO works with 8 oChips and each oChip contains 4 aromas – so the oPhone DUO works with 32 primitive aromas. The site claims that is can last for hundreds of uses, sort of like link cartridges, but for aroma. One can swap them in and out and capture any scent for which we have designed an oChip



  • Able to overcome language barriers
  • More engaging communication through phone
  • Taps on smell – a powerful and untouched sense

Hyperessay 1: Conceptualisation

For my final project, I am still currently undecided about what I specifically want to do. Here are the two topics I currently want to branch into:

Concept 1: Privacy

For the final project, I intend to investigate the depth of our disregard/unawareness about the issue of privacy among social media users.

The teachings regarding public vs privacy in class piqued my interest regarding this subject. In fact, beforehand I myself was negligent about digital footprints that I have left behind. This was until our guest speaker, Surya Mattu from Brooklyn, New York, personally had a chat with us in class regarding this topic.

What inspired me was his project named Last Seen.  A Wi-Fi packet sniffer project which looks at the memories of our Wi-Fi enabled devices. From there, he could connect the dots of one’s personal life. It really impacted me when he told us about how he found out about one of his friend (or a subject?) cheating on another person just by seeing how one of their phones is connected to the other’s house wifi.

Since then, I have been pondering much about this subject. If one can infer so much fromWi-Fi alone, then what could one infer about us from our social media accounts?  The digital age has collapsed the walls and boundaries of privacy online, and what could be the consequences of such, which is mostly unknown or not taken seriously to my peers and I?

Concept 2: Avatar/Alter Ego/Persona

The main reason why I am motivated to touch on this subject is because recently, I learnt about Lil Miquela. Since kickstarting her account in 2016, she have garnered over 1.2million followers and collaborates with different other influencers and even brands like Spotify. Also, she released a single named “Not Mine” in March 2017.  So who actually is she?

Looks like a normal teen, right?

But look closer.

Posing with her friends

So actually if you take at look at her closely, you will realise that she is a CGI. She is a fictional character made more realistic with captions, posing with people, and if you look closely enough, placing a CGI face over a real body

Over the two years, many were speculating about who is the person behind the account. And it has since been revealed that she is is a fictional CGI character created by Trevor McFedries and Sara Decou as a digital art project.

We all know about the reasons why people choose to don an avatar or remain anonymous online. But with this avatar created on a social media platform, invading a space that does not usually use avatars, then it has evoked many different and interesting reactions online. In fact, it has sparked off quite a conversation as news outlets like New York Magazine covered this “controversial” topic.

And I am still pondering, why so? Why are people interested and following an avatar (especially so after the account is revealed to be “fake”)? I think it is interesting that avatars can be utilised like this beyond a game, into something more “real” instead. Should I want to pursue this topic, how I can execute this topic beyond a gamescape as well?

An artwork we have discussed in class that is similar to the topic about avatars/alter ego is Grand Theft Avatar,  which is a live performance created in Second Life


I want really interested in these two topics and would like to read up and dive deeper into these concepts more before finalising on one.

Micro project: Glitch aesthetics


This is home, truly.

Where I know, I must be

Where my dreams, wait for me

Where I know, I must be.


Where the river always flows.

This is home, surely.


As my senses, tell me.

During my youth, I was hopeful about the future that that is laid out for us in Singapore. But as I grew up, it hit me that things are not as simple as it seems. Going to university does not automatically mean you can get a great job with a pay that is enough to buy a house and start a family comfortably. Or not everyone in Singapore receives the same and opportunities and treatment that I did. And in fact, there are people in our society that often fall through the gaps. The more I read and expose myself to the world I was once ignorant of, the more I understand that things around us are not as perfect as it seems.

My once rose-tinted lenses has has now faded to reality. I guess it is all part and parcel of growing up. But still, I do acknowledge that as a country we are doing extremely well compared to many others. But there are definitely areas we need to improve and I am glad that people are engaging in conversations and exposing these loopholes that we to resolve together as a nation!

Device of the week: Kérastase Hair Coach

What is the Kérastase Hair Coach?

The Kérastase Hair Coach is an app connect smart hairbrush that allows users to analyze and monitor their hair condition. It keeps track of logged information and provides personalised advice on how to improve on the users’ hair condition by recommending various hair products or services for the user.

“We really want to think about what the connected bathroom will look like in the future for the beauty industry,” Guive Balooch, VP of L’Oreal’s Technology Incubator, told Fortune in an interview.

Now, there is no need to head down to a hair professional to know more about your hair and resolve its issue. Attaining such information is now more accessible to the public.  Moreover, it takes note of the current environment (humidity, temperature, UV and wind), and provides an overall hair quality score for your mane.

Image result for kerastase hair brush technology

Technology includes a microphone (which listens to the sound of brushing to identify patterns); an accelerometer and a gyroscope (to analyze brushing patterns and count brush strokes); and sensors (to determine if the brush is being used on dry or wet hair)

Image result for Kérastase Hair Coach

The brush connects to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth so you don’t need your phone by your side in the bathroom as you groom yourself

Pros and cons?

The price for this device is $277 (AUD), which is significantly pricey compared to a normal brush that can cost less than $5 in Singapore. If you think about it, how often do people even brush their hair (I never had the need to brush mine). Is there such a need to have a product like this in our lives?

I think the target audience for this product might be for hair professionals (especially home hair professionals, where they do not have access to high-end equipment in their spaces) or people who require high maintenance for their mane (those who perhaps dye their hair too often?). Hence, I could not justify the price point for the strengths that this product has.

Perhaps if they greatly reduce the price by reducing some of the technologies they have, like judging whether my hair is wet or dry, and many others, then I might actually purchase this for myself.

Sketch: Message Alert Ring (Bridgel and Viena)

Together with Birdgel, our initial idea was to create a simple SMS notifier that vibrates and lights up according to the importance level of the message received. To integrate it fully into our everyday lives, we wanted to use a rhinestone gem that can be pasted onto your fingernail, most often utilised as a form of nail art.

Image result for finger nail manicure gem

An example of the rhinestone gem that lights up and vibrates

However, we decided to change it to a ring instead!

The materials that we used for this device is mainly a vibrator motor and LED light. We first tried to connect the vibrator motor to Arduino and see how it works.

Code for vibrator motor, keying the letters ‘R’ and ‘r’ will switch the vibrator on and off respectively

We then incoperated the LED light code into what we had.

We changed “r” and “R” into actual words

We then glued the LED light and the vibrator motor together!

Final product

Bridgel simplified and neatened up the wiring of the ring

Initially, Bridgel and I tried to connect Arduino to our phones (hence SMS messages) through a Bluetooth module, HC-05. However, after trying out for a bit we realised that it is limited to only android users as only android has an app that connects both devices together. This is also due to the restriction IOS and iPhone phones have with the Bluetooth software. You can read more about this here. For iPhone and IOS users, there are other alternatives like using the HM-10 BLE Bluetooth module to connect to your Arduino!