How to Make a Region Innovative

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How to Make a Region Innovative

Seoul Digital Forum

Seoul Digital Forum

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Japanese Street Style

Following last week’s post on global street-style bloggers, I wanted to check in with Shoichi Aoki, who began photographing street styles in the nineteen-eighties. The Japanese photographer has created three magazines on the subject: Street features London street style and street snaps at Paris and New York Fashion Week; Fruits focusses on street snaps of girls from Harajuku, Tokyo; and Tune collects snaps of Harajuku’s boys. He’s also published two books.

– On our Photo Booth blog, a slide show of more of Aoki’s work and a brief Q. & A.:

Cool Japanese Research: Interactive Kissing Display

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I am glad to be part of a university that develops crazy ideas. In the latest crazy research here is a screen which is used for interactive kissing.

By sensing the distance between the user and the display, this photo of a person reacts when kissed. This system is currently under development by a research group at Keio University and they are also considering how to utilize this system in a commercial context.

“I’m a big fan of pop idols, and I have posters of them in my room. It bugged me that the posters didn’t move at all. We built this system because we thought, if a poster could move to match people’s movements, that would be interactive and fun.”

“This system is very simple. There’s an ultrasound sensor here, to detect how far away your head is. As you approach the sensor, the picture changes. When you get closer, the picture becomes a kissing face, and when you move away, it becomes a blushing face.”

“The current system only produces visual changes, but we could also include the scent of shampoo from the person’s hair, or a lemon-flavored film on the lips, or a speaker that whispers “I love you.” People who’ve tried this system advised us to do those things, so we think there’s still plenty to be done. We’ve learned a lot from talking to users.”

From now on, the researchers plan to develop an iPad application. For this, they’re considering other sensing methods, such as using image recognition via the camera, or using a light sensor that reacts to the shadows created when the user approaches.

“We think we could get pop idols to actually pose for this, and sell it as an application, or it could be used in digital signage. I think people would be really attracted by a face that gives a kiss as they walk past.”

(via Interactive Poster That Loves Being Kissed – DigInfo TV – Tech News Videos From Japan | The latest technology, products, gadgets and scientific research direct from Tokyo)

Talking to Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Malaysia F1 Grand Prix

I had the pleasure of being invited invited to Malaysia by the Malaysian government investment arm and part of the visit was attending the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix. At the F1 I met Malaysia’s modern founder and Prime Minister for many years, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. I found Dr. Mahathir to be a most pleasant and gentle man. I could feel he had a deep and solid thinking. 

I was introduced to Dr. Mahathir as the person who “invented chicken hugging on the internet” (related to my previous work Poultry Internet). Dr Dr. Mahathir actually asked me about poultry internet, and I was happy to explain. I guess it was the first and maybe the only time he would talk about internet chicken hugging.

As I watched the F1 it actually came to my mind that Dr. Mahathir basically made all this happen, he modernized the whole country. But I am also very impressed that he let the country go into basically full democracy. Malaysia reformed into an open democracy with the people free to express their voices.

I had the pleasure to enjoy the F1 in Malaysia close up, but what I left with was a more deep impression, I felt free to be myself in Malaysia, it is a open and free society.

Analog Books are Best!

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One of my last analog hold-outs in the digital age is books. I tried using an e-reader, however although it is convenient to carry many books, I feel there are still many advantages in analog books. Some of my reasons are:

1. I simply like the look and feel of a hard copy book

2. I can carry it anywhere, and dump it in my bag without any worry

3. I can read it during take off and landing (which for me has been a significant part of my life)

4. I can visually see how many books I have and how many unread books I own. (This is useful for me as I am a book addict, I can physically see on my book shelf that there are a few hundred books unread which I want to catch up, so I should halt buying more books on Amazon). With my e-reader I could store a thousand books, and basically it is lost in the virtual world. Physically I can relate to the amount of book media I have, much better.

5. Related to (4) I do not need to carry a thousand books with me, in fact I find it stressful when presented with so many choices of what to read on my e-reader.

The only part of books which I probably will convert to digital would be text-books. However I think more importantly text books are becoming irrelevant. I can find almost all information on line these days so I rarely look at text books and I hardly recommend text books to my students these days either


The Book of the Future

(for The New York Times Book Review)

“Laughter says the child” in book: The Young Global Leaders Field Guide to Empowering Change

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What happens when you ask a room of exceptional change-makers from business, science, government and the non-profit sphere to model their view of how change happens? Each one has created a shift in some way, pushed their area of endeavor to impressive heights – but how?

When we say change, do you think of it the way that I do? What does change mean, and how does it happen?

In May 2010, over 300 Young Global Leaders assembled in Tanzania to share ideas, insights, and to experience first hand how local people and organizations were making an impact and creating change. As a part of this exercise, participants in this journey were asked to take a moment to capture change – from their point of view – in the form of a model, mixing images and words to explain their point of leverage for turning what is into what they believe could be.

Both in words and in pictures, what follows are a series of triggers, snapshots of how change happens. Their purpose is to convey ideas.

The book may be downloaded at the following link

Section written by Adrian David Cheok entitled “Laughter says the child”

We are entering a completely new form of society due to the complete and pervasive connectivity of humans around the globe. This is not just a simple extension of the industrial age. In some respects, our society is starting to resemble more traditional group oriented cultures, such as the huntergatherer societies, or Ancient Athenenians, where everybody would know everything about each other constantly. Yet, one revolutionary aspect of this development is that there is some research showing that a new type of human is appearing. These new humans are the children of the Internet age, who have grown up with constant networked communication and almost limitless real time visual media. Researchers have shown that unlike most adults, these net generation humans can genuinely multi-task and learn in a non-linear and visual manner. It is suggested that their brain structure itself is different from all previous humans due to their immersion from birth in connected multiple channel media. In the future what this means is that we may lose some aspects of human intelligence which requires deep solitary concentration (solitary genius), but perhaps we may gain even higher achievements through group intelligence, similarly to a bee hive being more intelligent than the individual bee. We are seeing the end of solitude in society, and new models of the human brain that are based on the network mind. To fully develop the children of the Internet age, we should create technologies that allow us to facilitate new communication and learning, and to create natural and humanistic ways of interfacing with machines, as well as other people remotely over large distances using the full range of human gestures such as touch, sight, sound, and even smell. This new media includes new ways of communication between people and between cultures and races. Children need to be given opportunities to learn with the new media they feel natural with and to develop their creative potential, rather than rote learning of facts. Children, immersed in new media can have great imaginative envisioning, futurecasting and creative engineering potential. We can develop new forms of learning using design thinking and open-minded creative experimentations. Finally, another positive use of interactive media for the young is to promote deep culture by creating new forms of media that combine traditional culture with modern media. Young people often prefer new entertainment and social media, and this we can allow them to explore culture through a novel merging of traditional cultures and literature with recent media literacy. New forms of cultural computing systems are thus an important for children.

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