Individual Presentation: Wearables

Image result for wearables gif

Zooming into the payments field, my presentation dives into the area of wearable payment devices. Going even more focused, I made an in-depth analysis of the Garmin HR Vivosmart with Ez-link contactless payment that was hardly known to anyone in Singapore.

Therefore I came up with this thesis:

Contactless payments wearables have not penetrated into the local market because their convenience do not overweigh their pricey cost.


Before I go on, let’s rewind to the new trends I presented in class..


New Trends – Institutions Implementing Wearables

  • Possibility of wearables entering the market tied through school programmes

Cashless payments in NTU

  • NTU Students are now able to have an all-in-one device for cashless payments
  • Wearable device also serves as Student ID/matriculation card

So I was just joking about having a matriculation card and all these payments incorporated into one device but in latest news…

Apparently, the newest matriculation card issued enables NETSflash pay when going aboard buses too. Why not amalgamate these ideas and create a wearable unique to NTU students?

I found this really timely and fascinating because of how it was rather in-tuned with my hypothesis

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…Back to this

Before going into the case study, I surfaced the top three principles that sets the ground of the validity of a wearable device

1.Starts from the human, not the machine

Wearable technology design should start from a human problem, and then evaluate viable technology solutions. It should not start from a particular technology solution looking for places to impose its presence.

2. Capitalizes on existing behavior

To earn the privilege of being worn, wearable design should evoke a feeling of the device as a natural extension of the person. It should not require the person to adapt or force new behavior.

3. Requests attention, does not demand it 

Because it is with you everywhere, wearable tech should honor the present moment, not distract from it. In doing so, it permits the wearer to remain in the moment, and for others around the wearer to do the same.


Hence, presenting the Garmin Vivosmart HR with Ezlink

Image result for garmin vivo ezlink

NFC payment feature

  • Near Field Communication radius of about 4 cm provides a wireless connection between your device and another

Look and feelImage result for garmin vivo ezlink

  • Simple and sleek
  • Only in three colours
  • Adjustable strap with 14 slots
  • Fits well for wrists  6″- 10″ in diameter.

User Experience

Taking buses

  • Takes a tad longer (0.5s) to be be processed
  • Better to choose the terminal of the side you’re wearing
  • Plus feature: Able to access last 6 Ez-link transaction records

Taking MRT

  • Placing of terminal points
  • Slightly trickier for those wearing it on their left

Paying for merchandise

  • Number of merchants that accept EZ-link as a form of contactless payment but that list is not extensive

Battery Life

  • Up to 5 days in a single charge (with activity tracking, smart notifications and all day heart rate turned on)
  • NFC capabilities still works after battery is flat (8 hours)

Other Features

  • 24/7 activity tracker
  • Measures steps, distance, calories, heart rate, floors climbed, active minutes
  • Measures heart rate and calories burnt
  • Find my iPhone Feature
  • Smart notifications

Paired Mobile App UI ?

The mobile app tied to the device is pretty neat and intuitive

Pros ?

  • Lightweight & ergonomic
  • Waterproof up to 50m
  • Up to 5 days battery life
  • Secure* (Payment terminal thefts in Europe)


  • Limited range of designs
  • Limited ezlink payment terminals
  • Functionalities can be carried out with mobile phone app
  • PRICE!!!

Overall, a 6/10 as the price is really a huge-concern here. (Especially with Singaporeans)

NFC Payment Ring

A short note on this wearable device since I’m doing on this topic – I had the chance to use these rings at the Visa Summer Interns summit in San Francisco back in July. In the video, I’m making payment for my drink at the Contactless Cafe using the NFC ring. In short, these are the pros and cons


  • No battery needed. This is one of the best advantage of a device as it doesn’t rely on any charging, but just the chip in it
  • Price. These are relatively affordable ranging from $20-$60.


  • Sizes. Perfect fit is fairly important for wearables. However, these come In only two to three sizes. Rather absurd as rings are usually custom made for their sizes. Mine almost flew out as it was really insecure

Future of wearables

For wearable devices, many factors come into play like price, fit, fashion factor, ergonomic level etc. It seems to be taking off overseas especially for fitbits and other fitness related wearables. However, the device’s convenience has to work on its standard if it wants to see the increase of users locally.

Link to Google slides


Adobe Connect Second Front Interview

The clock on my Mac showed 11pm and I was drained with an entire day of back to back events – but I actually felt the energy through the third space during the session on Adobe Connect with Second Front that kept me engaged. Perhaps, this was a form of virtual leakage (of energy)?

Some latency and some bits of sunshine were shown on their grids as the session kicked off.  I found this strangely cinematic. It was night and all in Singapore while these folks had sun over there! Just like Skype sessions, it’s always intriguing when you’re interacting with someone at the other side of the world. It is also fascinating to be able to sneak a peek into the other parties’ spaces and  scan across their backdrops. Or rather, for Singaporeans, we just call this ‘kaypoh’ or nosey :b

Amidst the virtual talkshow, adding on to the sunshine and chatter was definitely Bibbes. With the boundary that the virtual world creates, along with Bibbe’s already eccentric character, she was definitely a good example of how people can be bolder, or rather, even bolder when in the third space. Hence, it was actually possible for your true personality to shine even virtually, in contrast to those that want to come off as another personality.

As mentioned in class, it was indeed a thing to multi-task during such sessions. I found myself googling over Bibbes as she was speaking, as I recalled she was the mother of Beck. What I found even cooler was that she personally knew Andy Warhol! She actually participated in Andy Warhol’s factory! I! am! so! stunned! And actually honoured to be in the same third space and being in conversation with the members of Second Front. Great opportunity we had here, thanks!!

Research Critique: Second Front

Every week as I embark on writing research critiques, I know I would raise my eyebrows. (Why thank you Randall for the fascinating and hard-to-understand-at-first-glance case studies.) This week, it was no different as I entered into the realm of Second Front, as I attempt to decipher a gist of it.

So, what they’re doing is not a game. Neither were the Second Front members ‘performing art member’ but performance art members. I deem them as performers of artistical critiques of certain issues they aim to raise, using graphcial animation and third space as their stage. One thing surely, is that they rely heavily on improvisation and unintended actions – which actually makes the magic. I’m a goer for that!

Second Life

What drew my attention greatest out of their works was the idea was the new world they created through Second Life. A virtual world where people come together, sell stuff, stage performances with no main objective – it was practically and literally a second life, lived through the third space. The fact that it engaged one million active users meant that it had an incentive for people.

It just made me wonder – Could it be that people are living their alter egos in Second Life? Or is it the fantasy element that people could actually live their ideal lives in the third space that attracts users?

Then again, this isn’t something particularly new as there are similar sites with the same concept, like habbo hotel. No particular objective but a virtual community where people are increasingly bold with the way they interact with strangers behind an anonymous image.

But one thing for sure is that people feel an inclination towards the virtual world because of the fact that they could be anyone else, just like everyone else there.


As my mentor once told me, not everything in art has a meaning behind it so don’t try to hard trying to understand it – trying too hard will spoil the art. Indeed, this is one work/artist group I dont plan to truly understand or decipher as it may be looking too close or too far into the whole picture they want to paint.

But I believe this can be a good thought about how with the third space, things can be real, and yet not real at the same time.

As I did my own research before reading the interview, I found that this quote actually resonates to my previous thought although it was meant for another context

“……a two way exchange between the virtual and the real, through which new hybrid meanings can be made….”

Hence, with the advent of such virtual platforms, it can be said that an amalgamation of the two worlds (real and virtual) have formed, transpiring us into a new ‘in-between’.

Looking into the future, in my take, is this question that we will ask:

‘What is even real anymore?

Cross-streaming Facebook Invite Test

So Facebook decided to up their game and created a ‘invite’ feature for ‘live’ videos, inviting countless ideas to the already many ideas we have for our final project.

This feature helped my partner and I communicate better – it became two-to many from the one-to many. Pretty interesting as we could now give commands to each other without hassle.

Technical errors: Bandwidth and a stable connection is really the core of delivering a good ‘live’ broadcast to a large extent. My partner’s face would be lagged with a failure icon at some points, breaking the flow of the broadcast.

Suggestions for our final broadcast

  • Work on concepts where latency do not matter
  • Think of the outcome of grids when collectively performed
  • Put two pairs together in other to create a ‘cross cross-stream’
  • Create a ‘two-to-many-ception’ with OBS screen capture

More technical tests to be done to experiment this! Trial and error yea?

Research Critique: JenniCam

Supposedly the first image taken on Jennicam. 

Jennicam started as a programming project to test if her script runs correctly where it’ll snap a picture on her webcam every 15 minutes. Who knew it wasn’t too long before it turned into an art project that has taken the internet by storm.

My eyebrows raised when the research on Jennicam started. It raised higher and got even higher as I’m typing the critique now, mainly questioning – what made her do it for 7 years? The main question was still – was she in the right mind? Or is that just her nature to carry out some of the things that she did.

The main main question I had: Why was there appeal?

First things first, Jennicam happened in 1996.

A context where the world wide web was still a phenomenon and many possibilities could’ve evolved from it – and she happened to be one of the phenomenons. She was the first of her kind to have done a ‘Facebook Live’ video of that time, where she herself and her daily life are the main subjects of a site-specific internet project. As she mentioned, she drew inspiration of a man that broadcasted a fish tank and that she thought could only be interesting for 5 minutes. Yet, her stream went on for 7 whole years, with her as the subject matter.

This demonstrates the strong desire of humans of wanting to stay connected with other humans and interests of the lives of others.  As compared to animals where people have broadcasted, they are not as intriguing as the human species, as what Jennifer herself mentioned. For Jennifer, it seems that her demand for attention and limelight surpasses any average individual in my opinion.

Voyeurism theory

As stated by the famous Sigmund Fraud, it refers to the idea of looking in order to gain sexual pleasure. This was what was happening on Jennicam. It has been argued that the male viewer’s gaze at the screen is geared to notions of voyeurism in that it is a powerful controlling gaze at the objectified female on display. The fact that the subject matter was female was already a hook for attention. Furthermore, Jennifer is showcasing her private moments, where audience already deem her as a sexual object. Sex appeal was clearly her selling points of the webcam broadcast, as seen from the questions and interest of David Lecherman. I mean Letterman.

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There was just something magnetic about JenniCam that drew viewers and high traffic to her site. It was easy to sit there and anticipate the next picture or moment, like a chain that links the next part of the narrative, which is unscripted and raw just like Videofreex, Hole-In-Space and the other works we’ve looked at. Hence, this anticipation during a real-time ‘live’ stream gave audience an added feeling of ‘looking-forward-to-see-what’s-next’, therefore attracting viewers.


Her life drama – a top-notch combination

“Scandal-plus-sex is a pretty unbeatable combination, for traffic” – Jorn Barger, creator of the Robot Wisdom weblog and a Jennicam fan.

One of the events that unfolded on Jennicam during the 7 years that I can’t fathom anyone would do is how she cheated openly to the wide world (very literally) with her good-friend, Courtney’s fiance named Dex. Like what are you gurl?

Image result for shook gif drag queen

Appeal for her site waned for a period of time until the stir of her love, sex and betrayal episode.

According to PC Data Online, traffic to the JenniCam site jumped 40 percent between the pre-Dex first week of July and the last weeks of the month; it drew 193,000 unique users the week that ended July 29.

Therefore, these are the reasons that made the pioneering webcam exhibitionist Jennicam so infamously appealing in my opinion.

Just a thought…what if OBS was available at that time?

Courtney should have done a reaction video via OBS while she desktop captures Jennicam’s lifestream. I can already imagine the names of her episode if Courtney did a reaction video. she could’ve superimposed if she had OBS.

Sex with my ex? Sex with my Dex?

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The response from netizens

Vitriol spewed and it was no surprise. Outrage wasn’t confined to the internet and this was mentioned of her:

A “red-headed little minx” and an “amoral man trapper.” – The Washington Post

You read that right. The Washington Post called her that.

As her site closed in Dec 2003, here we are today faced with this epiphany:

Sounds familiar. Was it We’re All  Videofreex? Credits: @anildash

Well in some ways, Anil’s tweet is true as we’re Facebooking , Instagramming and periscoping our lives than ever before through social media .

In her interview with Letterman years back, she jokingly states how this will replace television. Indeed it has really come to past.

“Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes” – Andy Warhol

Also, Andy said it right. Indeed everyone will be famous for 15 minutes – on the internet and new media he meant. With the advent of the world wide web, this was the idea of being famous in the 21st century. As for Jennifer, it was 7 years.

In retrospect, her case can be seen as an experiment of morals and ethics on the internet – how far are people pushing these boundaries online, just because they are in the third space. People are definitely bolder. I feel like I could link this to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in a way, as her entire projects speaks a lot/can be study about human behaviour and their need for acceptance and attention. For her, she is a ratchet case and has sets standards of where do we not want to go as an online personality.

OBS Technical Test (didn’t get posted oops)


The technical test ran more smoothly than expected apart from minor connection hiccups and audio levels.

Location – Siewhua and I found a spot in the Thursday classroom for our desktop terminal as we knew everyone else left the class for other locations – leaving more bandwidth for us 🙂

Audio levels – Staying put was good as the connection went smoothly. The only little issue was with the sound in finding the right balance and mix between environmental sound and the background track.

Mobile streaming – In order to portray the nice architecture of our school, I was certain to have the sunken plaza as part of our misc-en-scene. I did a few pans around the area and all was good and fitted well with the chaos and destruction of the green screen until latency occurred. It kept happening a random spots around the sunken plaza which was hard to trace. I guess a beautiful location comes with the price of bad bandwidth. Even with mobile data, the connection was also unable to be received. Hence, just like the very principle of Hole-In-space, bandwidth is very important for ANY ‘live’ stream broadcast, not just large scale screens.

Things to take note for going ‘live’ later:

  • Do not stay at specific areas of sunken plaza too long! Hop around the upper levels instead!
  • Watch out for other ‘live’ classmates to get a chance to ‘cross cross-stream’!
  • Be spontaneous! Be raw and frank just like the videofreex! Perfection isn’t the thing to look at here!

Siewhua’s technical test

Val’s technical test

Device of the week 4: Project Jacquard – Google and Levi’s wearable

Being more into up-to-date interactive gadgets in the market, here’s Google and Levi’s Project Jacquard (USD $350), a piece of smart clothing that will be available online from today 2nd Oct on wards. About its collaboration, Google developed Jacquard, a technology that can be woven into fabrics. As for Levi’s, it is the first brand to use the technology, and used its classic commuter trucker jacket to house it all.

Aimed at cyclists, this smart denim jacket allows users to customise their experience and get a variety of services be it maps or music directly from the jacket sleeve.

Project Jacquard guide: The lowdown on Google and Levi's smart jacket

This means dismissing calls, getting directions, switching music and even reading messages out loud with the paired headset or its speaker just by swiping the sleeve or tapping it.


For this Commuter Jacket, it uses an interactive yarn to build the touch and gesture sensitive areas on the sleeve, where sensor grids can be created for even larger interactive surfaces. This allows designers to take advantage of LEDs, haptic and other outputs to provide feedback for the user.

The fibres are linked to a detachable smart tag which attaches itself on the cuff, which provides connectivity to your smartphone. This is removable and could be plugged into a USB port to charge it up.


  • Well-packaged

A collaboration of two big brands is one way to attain brand credibility and trust of a buyer, hence buying reach of wearable technology. This collaboration is an important move as not only it fulfilled its aesthetics component, but it is also one of the most sleek and stylish wearables to date equipped with smart capabilities. If there is indeed a breakthrough in this product, it could lead to the rise of more iconic brands collaborating with technologies to create more wearables, expanding the market.



  • Limiting gestures

There are only three types of gestures detected for this wearable. It may be a tad bit limiting to adhere to these such few gestures moreover, while on the road. Following the wearable principle, wearable technology design should start from the human, not the machine. Hence, the aspect of human-centered design can be further developed.

  • Fabric vulnerability

With the nature of a clothing aimed at cyclists, there’s a high chance that this needs to be washed after sweaty rides. However, it was mentioned that this jacket could be washed a maximum of 10 times before it stops working. However, the material of yarn is limiting its shelf life despite its stylist exterior and capabilities as a wearable device. Hence, more research & development will be needed to cover up this product’s flaw.


As a cyclist myself, I’d have a user inclination to use voice command if wearing this set of smart clothing kit, instead of lifting my grip off the bar to do swipes. Perhaps the makers could incorporate voice sensors into the smart chip around the collars of the jacket. This would create a hands-free device that changes my music, gives me directions and reads my messages aloud which is indeed more spectacular than needing gestures to perform an action.

Device of the week 3: Amazon Dash Wand with Alexa – Wireless assistant

Groceries have never been easier. And humans have never been lazier. This device helps you find recipes, convert cups to ounces, buy and reorder essentials, find nearby restaurants and more – all you have to do is say it or scan a barcode.

Image result for amazon dash wand

The amazon Dash Wand is wireless and runs on double AA batteries. Also, a phone will be needed to register this device for it to run. Being voice activated, a user just simply needs to mention the dish they want to cook eg. ‘mushroom alfredo pasta’, and Alexa (a Siri equivalent) replies with the ingredients needed.

It is a true household device as you’re also able to command the device using your voice to dim the lights, lock the door, control temperatures and more.

Image result for amazon dash wand


  • Well-designed

The item is water-resistant and this is an extremely practical point as the device will be highly found in the kitchen in the danger of liquid items. Furthermore, some thought also went behind the item’s placement where having a magnetic feature can allow users to stick it on the fridge where the groceries are found.

  • Convenient and handy item

The amazon dash wand saves you the extra effort and clicks to manually search for recipes or the time of your order arrival etc. This gives it some magic in its user experience by saving them time and getting things on the go with such minimal effort. You are now able to control different house appliances with your voice using this device.

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  • Close product features to Siri and apps

However, while it all seems magical – it seems to remind me of Apple’s Siri altogether. The same level of features can be done on the Siri App, apart from being directly linked to the Amazon app, which is actually not much a biggie here. The other functions are also similar to other internet of things such as a house appliance app that acts as a remote control.

  • Magic of device.. isn’t really that magical

It may seem really fuss-free and convenient to say something and have it added to your grocery list but the user still has to open the phone app to manually check out after adding it into their list. Hence, the device seems to create a superficial sense of convenience and luxury, where the main functionality can be further improved.

Improvements to the device


This device can be configured in several languages, which gives it a potential to be used also as a portable language translation device. Currently, it detects English (U.S., UK), German, French (France, Canada), Italian, Spanish (Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia), Portuguese (Brazil), Japanese, Chinese (Simplified), Russian, or Dutch. Hence, it will be innovative to make use of this feature as a helpful cross-cultural communication tool.

Portable Language Translation Device

A portable language translation device. A way to accentuate its value as a useful interactive device for its market would be to combine the functions of these two devices together.

Alternative uses

  • Question-and-answer device

With its portable size and interactive voice command feature, it is handy for a question-and-answer situations. Therefore, it can be used for a wide spectrum of scenarios. For instance, in the museum, where visitors who want to know more about the artworks can use this device and saves the scheduled physical tours and guides. It could also be used as a device to provide directions when entering a huge venue eg. themepark or mall, where users can collect these device at the entry. This saves them the trouble of downloading apps to facilitate their trip.

In general, this device is useful but slightly impractical as its features could be embedded into a phone app itself to command instructions to appliances.