Yesterday marked the opening of EmTech Singapore, the first conference of the year that gathers likeminded emerging technology buffs from around the region to share their ideas and innovations. I walked into the hall filled with excitement and curiosity at what EmTech Singapore will bring to the table this year. The hall was quickly packed to the brim with more delegates than there were actual seats, anticipating the start of the conference.
The atmosphere was rather quiet making EmTech seem like a very solemn affair instead of a semi-formal sharing of the minds. Audiences were generally shy and quiet when it was time to pose questions at the guest speakers. Thankfully host Jason Pontin who is the editor in chief of MIT Technology Review, did a good job carrying the show along and should be awarded the gold medal for actively trying to engage the audience throughout the day.
The conference went on with just some slight glitches in time management. Many speakers took the stage, sharing their views on emerging technology and how their nifty innovations will benefit all of us in time to come.
A few innovations and speakers stood out from the crowd of tech geeks:
Holographic Master Mind, Rudy A. Mazzocchi
Like right out of a Star Trek movie, holographic technology is closer to us now than what it seems to be. Holographic technology has been used for movies like Benjamin Button and the Polar Express to resurrecting the King of Pop, Michael Jackson for a sold out concert.
Rudy who is currently the CEO of PULSE BioLogic, spoke about their current project in perfecting haptic feedback in a holograph for the medical industry. The feature will allow the user to touch and feel the holographic image as though he is really touching the object. Meaning the doctors who are performing a surgery on a holographic image of the brain can actually feel the sponge like texture of the brain. PULSE BioLogic is looking at introducing this to doctors in training, who need to undergo surgical procedure practice. If successful, this will lower the need for cadavers that can only be used once. Holographic technology will not produce any biowaste in that sense and will be able to provide doctors in training with more opportunities to have hands on experience.
Drone Commander, Guyue Zhou
So apparently it is illegal in the land of the free (America), to fly a drone in an enclosed area like a conference hall. But that did not stop DJI’s Director of New Technologies to do so yesterday. It was the highlight of the entire conference to have a working drone fly and hover in mid-air, especially when many like myself have never seen one in flight!
Guyue gave a brief introduction to the history of drones and the many possibilities it holds. DJI is looking at the agriculture industry, with particular attention to farming and forest inspections. Drones built with infrared cameras can easily monitor the health of crops and cover larger distances over a period of time as compared to driving a truck through hundreds of hectares. Forest inspections will also be easier now if conducted by drones, forest fires or illegal logging can now be detected earlier. Authorities can be alerted earlier to put out fires once it starts before it spreads and help capture illegal loggers.
The Gal Who Made Robogals, Marita Cheng
‘But no one turned up for the first meeting’, reminisced Marita. Founder of the highly successful international social initiative Robogals, now CEO of 2Mar Robotics, Marita Cheng is a bubbly speaker who engages the audience with small anecdotes of her well learned setbacks and successes she had when forming Robogals.
She founded 2Mar Robotics and has since left Robogals to be managed by the student members of Robogals. 2Mar Robotics was formed shortly after she graduated with a few other robotic fanatics, in a bid to use robotics to help patients suffering from spinal conditions or have movement constraints. Currently 2Mar Robotics is working on perfecting a robotic arm that can be controlled with a Smartphone app. The robotic arm is able store pre-programmed movements, stow away nicely when attached to a wheelchair and able to perform basic functions.
Benjamin Tee, The Crazy Scientist
Fancy a skin that can rapidly heal itself like comic character Wolverine’s? Well, Benjamin who is from our little red dot has invented an electronic skin that can do just that! Benjamin who is also a recipient of this year’s EmTech’s Innovators Under 35, says the electronic skin is something to look out for because it will go far beyond just healthcare. Imagine space ships constructed using the self-healing material. Astronauts will no longer have to make the dangerous trip out of their space shuttle to repair broken parts and maybe even survive a small meteor storm.
EmTech Singapore is an annual 2 day event that is organised by Koelnmesse which ended today. There were definitely more hits than misses, EmTech Singapore brought to the table many interesting speakers that spoke with passion about where technology will be in the near future. These speakers also brought into focus some really nifty inventions that will enhance the technology we have today, bringing it to an entirely new level. I leave EmTech Singapore with new found respect for the scientists who exhibited sincere enthusiasm and passion for their respective fields of science; impossible is now the new possible.
By Geralyne Kaye Ong / January 28, 2015 4:30PM GMT+8
Tags: Tech Storm, TechStorm, TV, Entrepreneurship, Technology, Innovation, Consumer Electronics, EmTech, Emtech, EmTech 2015, MedTech, Medical Technology, Interactive Eyewear, Augmented Reality, Holograms, Holographic Technology, The Digital Human, Electronic Skin, Cloud, Deep learning, A.I, Artificial Intelligence, Google, Baidu, 3D Printing, 3D Bio Printing, Drone, Phantom, Inspire 1, Robogals, 2Mar Robotics
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It was D day at EmTech 2015 held at the prestigious Marina Bay Sands!
Jason Pontin, Editor in chief of MIT Technology Review, giving the opening address to a very shy crowd of distinguished scientists, delegates from the region and press.
‘Look at all of you!’ said Steve Leonard. The Executive Deputy Chairman of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) tries to justify his dress code to an audience of suits and ties.
Don’t throw those Google Glasses away just yet! Steven Feiner, Lead Advisor at META is confident that augmented eyewear will be part of our daily lives in the very near future.
From Michael Jackson to Benjamin Button to the king himself, Elvis Presley. Rudy A Mazzocchi is the man who can bring them back to life with the use of holograms!
The annual gathering of techies! Spot anyone you know?
The next frontier of urban mobility was literally right in front of me. Still in its prototype stage, Shared Computer Operated Transport (SCOT) may be the future of Singapore’s urban mobility vision.
One of SCOT’s many engineers, explaining its current capabilities to curious delegates.
It really is mind over matter! Rikky Muller, CEO of Cortera Neurotechnologies shows us how her device helps those suffering from spinal conditions or limited movements just by thinking about it.
‘We are China’s version of Google’, proclaims Ren Wu to a laughing crowd. Distinguished Scientist of Baidu explains how deep learning connects everything in a seamless way.
Fancy 3D bio printing an entire ear or nose? It is now a reality! Xu Mingen, Principle of Renenovo explains how 3D bio printing will help the medical industry.
The coolest part of EmTech 2015 has to be when Guyue Zhou, DJI’s Director of New Technology showed the excitable audience an actual flying drone right in the middle of his speech!
Taking one for the GALS! *Air Pump* The charismatic Marita Cheng, sharing her experience about Robogals and her new venture 2Mar Robotics.
One day, the things around us may have the power of rapid healing like Wolverine when torn or dented, thanks to Benjamin Tee. Currently a Stanford Biodesign Global Innovaton Fellow of Standford University / A*Star, he speaks about the bright future of electronic skin.
‘Rolley Polly’, that’s what Mohan Rajesh Elara’s Scorpio really is. The lecturer of Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) showing off a working prototype that aims to aid in modern warfare reconnaissance.
10 ANSON ROAD #10-11