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

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.

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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!

Pitch proposal: Interactive Devices


The device questions the behaviours of people on social media, where we gain satisfaction from our peers whenever we receive a like/retweet/etc from our posts. How is it like if we were to translate the same behaviour in real life?



The device will be a LED panel shirt where the user’s post will be shown to the public. The public can show a “like” or “retweet” by clapping their hands or shouting a praise (using sound sensors). Similarly, thinking about the limitation of sound detection, another alternative is to use buttons where people can “click on” to show their like.



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LED panel shirt where texts will be displayed

Paper circuit tutorial More

Circuits can be created on fabric/paper by utilizing copper tape, clear tape, and some simple electronics.


Other online tutorials: 

LED panel:

LED panel:

Fabric circuit:


Key milestones: 

28 September

  • Research on LED panel (Should I acquire a panel by itself, or individually combine it together, like the tutorial above?)
  • Find out where to get the materials for the fabric circuit

30 September

  • Purchase materials for fabric circuit and led light over the weekend

01 – 05 October 

  • Draw out sketches for class the following week
  • Complete first rough mockups (coding of LED panel to work + fabric circuit)

08 October

  • Troubleshoot for LED panel/fabric circuit
  • Connecting LED panel with a social media account, to display live tweets/fb statuses

15 October 

  • Troubleshoot for LED panel + social media account
  • Connecting LED panel (with social media account) and the fabric circuit

22 October 

  • Troubleshoot for LED panel + social media account
  • Connecting LED panel (with social media account) and the fabric circuit




DOW: Osso VR

The Osso VR is a high immersive training tool for surgeons to experience the operating table first hand. This virtual reality platform allows individuals to use their very hands to pick up the needed tools and perform the necessary tasks. In addition, the Osso VR website states that it has “an unparalleled level of accuracy and realism to any surgical procedure”. There are also prompts that walks the users through each action, hence enhancing the learning experience of these trainee doctors before starting out on real patients.

It also grades one’s performance based on time, accuracy, and other metrics that surgeons are typically evaluated on.

VR allows the trainee to physically learn, practice, and master the proper steps of a procedure. Here is a video that further demonstrate the device:

Osso VR allows medical residences perform a variety of tasks, from leg to spinal surgery

Instead of needing complex and advanced hospitals to train in with expensive state-of-the-art equipment, a surgeon on the other side of the world can try the Osso VR module from any PC and VR headset to get the exact same quality training exercise.

Interestingly, it seems like the healthcare industry is heading towards VR to expand and accelerate the advancement of healthcare. There are events led by top medical practitioners that discusses the possibilities of VR as a platform to advance healthcare. An example of such is like “Virtual Medicine“.  From such discussions, various VR innovations like the Osso VR or AppliedVR  is created. (AppliedVR uses virtual reality to treat pain and anxiety in both inpatient and outpatient settings).

The con I could think about this product still cannot fully replicate the real experience of the operating table yet. For each case brought to the operating table is unique, as there could be many unexpected turns that can happen out of the blue. Nonetheless, this device is a great learning tool for trainee surgeons, refining their skillsets before operating on a real individual.

Perhaps this VR tool can expand to other job scopes like pilots, vets, or even to cooking. Maybe it can even be a tool to aid the elderly, to bring them new experiences and stimulate their minds instead of being bored in their elderly homes and such.