Asian Innovation Incubators: Part One

In order to ensure that human beings stay relevant in the context of a rapidly digitised and automated society, our creativity should be used and stimulated by enhancing interactions and experiences with new technology. Across Asia many corporations, start ups, R&D institutes, and universities are finding ways to apply human-centric designs in the production of technological tools that can be useful for our everyday lives. This is part one of a series focussing innovation incubators in Asia, showcasing the Real Projects in development by students at Keio Media Design.

Food Media creates new ways of cooking and eating, by applying media design techniques to non-traditional mediums, such as molecular gastronomy, food styling and photography, fusion food and collaborative cooking. Both the cooking and eating process becomes like playing a game whilst at the same time consuming information about what is being prepared and eaten. This could serve as a great tool for educating children and adults about nutrition, and possibly contribute to healthier lifestyles.

Fashion Media seeks to simultate our senses by experimenting with clothing and accessories that emit light, sound, smell and reponsive touch in order to enhance our human communication experiences. Imagine if your boss wore glasses that emitted red glows when they were angry, or you had a way to emit perfume suddenly on a date, or if you trousers spoke to you when they are getting too tight. This project offers great potential to designers and researchers to incorporate such technology into the future fashion collections.

Reality Media aims to generate a more comfortable and enjoyable ‘reality’ through the stimulation of sensory organs and perception. Augmented reality in the case of being able to see the view from outside of your projected inside your car when backing up could potentially be much safer and more reliable than mirrors and small camera views. Avatar robots that can be used to perform repairs or even medical surgery in far off or inaccessible locations offer huge potential for both healthcare and energy industries. Imagine a specialised doctor living in Tokyo who is able to perform a unique surgery on a patient in Hawaii, or an engineer that can perform repairs on a nuclear plant whilst sitting several miles away.

Keio Media Design (KMD) is a Graduate School of Keio University (Tokyo, Japan) that offers students the chance to combine research in the four areas of creativity; design, technology, management and policy whilst engaging in these intensive ‘Real Projects‘ with their peers. KMD works closely with industry professionals, partner institutions worldwide, and has two satellite campuses in Osaka and Singapore. Keio Media Design is already becoming the launching pad for new technology and products that can generate enterprising start ups or contribute to large corporations across Asia and the globe. Driving innovation and creative approaches to technology is the key to ensuring future economic growth in Japan and across the globe.

About the Author

Thomas is a pentalingual graduate of Modern East Asian Studies from the University of Hong Kong, now based in Japan as editor of Shifteast.com for Mandalah Tokyo.