National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore Chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean was introduced to an array of innovative projects when he visited the Keio-NUS Connective Ubiquitous Technology for Embodiments (CUTE) Center on 15 March. He was accompanied on the visit by representatives from NRF, NUS and the Public Service Division.
Among the projects on display was a virtual reality programme capable of replicating surgical situations, giving medical students a chance to hone their decision-making skills, as well as spoons, glasses and chopsticks technologically-enhanced with electrical pulses that stimulate the tip of the tongue to deliver salty, bitter and sour tastes.
Intrigued by the inventions, Mr Teo discussed the objectives, development process and plans for commercialisation with Keio-NUS CUTE Center Co-Director Professor Ellen Do and researchers, and suggested that a potential trial for the kitchenware designed to electrically simulate taste would be for astronauts to use them in outer space.
The visit also saw a presentation by Visenze — a spinoff from NUS-Tsinghua Centre for Extreme Search that develops advanced visual search and image recognition solutions. Professor Chua Tat-Seng, KITHCT Chair Professor at NUS Computing, and Chief Scientist and Co-Founder of Visenze, gave Mr Teo an overview of the company’s journey, including their milestones, challenges and future directions.
Keio-NUS CUTE Center is a joint collaboration between NUS and Keio University, Japan, focusing on research in the area of Interactive Digital Media — digital media that is programmed to react to users’ actions.