9 April 2012
Fitzkhoon (left) and Yan Liang with tiheir invention, ISGLOVES.
ENGINEERING Science Programme (ESP) student Fitzkhoon Liang Yaowen teaming up another Engineering student Tan Yan Liang from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, as well as two other NUS students, have won an award for their innovation at DEMO Asia 2012, one of the biggest start-up competitions in the region.
Their innovation is a pair of winter gloves which can be worn when using a touch-screen device. Their product, known as ISGLOVES, made its debut in Sweden last year. Marketed by FIETT, a startup formed by NUS students and alumni of the NUS Overseas College, some 100 pairs have been sold since, at S$100 each.
Fitzkhoon said the idea came about when one of their friends used her nose to touch the screen of her iPhone in an attempt to unlock it. They were in Sweden, and they were wearing gloves to keep off the cold. Ordinary gloves will not allow the device to detect the electrical charge in the fingertips. The students' innovative gloves however, have sensors embedded in them - in the form of conducting fibres able to transmit the charges -- thus allowing users to wear them while operating touch-screen devices.
Developing sensors for various applications have been a major project at Engineering Science Programme since it was initiated last year when 12 groups of Engineering Science students presented posters as well as prototypes of their innovations involving sensors to a panel of examiners. The session also included a 10-minute "elevator pitch" on how they are going to take their projects further.
Said Professor Wang Chien Ming, Director, ESP, "I am very proud indeed that Fitzkhoon is a member of this innovative team. Touch screens have become almost an indispensable part of our lives. Hence, their invention is something that we will all need to use when travelling to cold countries or when the skin on our fingertips is too dry and hence unable to transmit signals to touch screens."