01 July 2020 Department of Information Systems & Analytics , Faculty , Research , Feature , Intelligent Systems

Today’s virtual assistants and smart devices have come a long way. They can tell you if you’re running low on milk, what the weather will be like tomorrow, or change the TV channel without you having to lift a finger. But if researcher Desmond Ong has his way, the Google Homes and Alexas of the future might be able to add another attribute to their already impressive resume — emotional intelligence.


15 June 2020 Department of Information Systems & Analytics , Faculty , Research , Feature , Media , Digital Transformation, Platforms & Innovation

When Yingda Zhai was working on his PhD in Austin, Texas, he used to stroll through the neighbourhood he lived in not too far from campus. On these walks, he saw something that puzzled him, something that would set the course of his research for the next few years.

What Zhai noticed was this: his neighbourhood wasn’t that well-to-do, and lining the streets were shops like MetroPCS, Cricket Wireless, and FamilyMobile. These small cell phone companies, also known as mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), offered cheap plans without any contracts or credit checks. But the snag was that they came with slower connection speeds, smaller network coverage, and without features such as phone tethering.


01 June 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , Research , Feature , Media

If you have been to parts of Orchard Road or Bugis Junction, two busy shopping streets in Singapore, you might have noticed something unusual. There, familiar “traffic light men” flash red and green to help guide pedestrians safely across the road. But these are also accompanied by matching LED strips on the ground.

In recent years, Singapore and a handful of other cities, including Sydney, Tel Aviv, and Augsburg, have embedded lights into pavements at busy intersections as an additional safety measure for pedestrians. Ilsan in South Korea has gone even further, employing flickering lights and laser beams at road crossings to warn walkers of the dangers ahead.

Whatever the means, their target is the same: the heads-down tribe of smartphone zombies — people who walk around perpetually glued to their mobile device.