Here’s Why You Should Go For TEDxKL 2015 | Greater Malaysia



A piece by April Lin and Ezri L. – Writers at Greater Malaysia 

July 29, 2015

TEDxKL will be held on 8 August 2015 at Putra Indoor Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur with the Theme: Infinity ∞ Beyond.


TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, it is a platform for spreading ideas and promoting discourse. This year, TEDxKL has invited an array of unique speakers and here is a little scoop on the presenters at the event.

Inventor and Professor of Pervasive Computing Adrian Cheok

Source | Adrian Cheok


Why you should listen


In case you’re wondering what pervasive computing is, it’s the concept of inserting microprocessors into everyday objects to communicate information. Think Iron Man and the way he can make gestures to use the computer instead of a standard mouse and keyboard.


Interested? You should be! Prof. Adrian Cheok, who is currently the Director of the Mixed Reality Lab based in Singapore, has been researching on integrating mixed reality, human-computer interfaces, and embedded systems amongst other things.


An Editor/Associate Editor of many academic journals in the field, Prof Adrian Cheok has been conferred a myriad of awards including the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (ASTAR) Young Scientist of the Year Award and the Singapore Computer Society Young Professional of the Year Award. A receiver of the prized Hitachi Fellowship, he was also awarded Microsoft Research Award for Gaming and Graphics.


What others say


The man with the electric lollipop How can successful innovation be brought about by basic research? Adrian David Cheok has achieved this, and made the Internet more sensory -Roland Berger Strategy Consultants



Adrian Cheok becomes finalist in the Advance Global Australian Awards 2015

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Adrian Cheok is shortlisted as one of the finalists in this year’s Advance Global Australian Awards for his achievements in technology innovation.

Advance Global Australian Awards are prestigious awards that celebrate Australians around the world, who exhibit remarkable talent, exceptional vision and ambition. They are the only awards to recognise the important contributions of the more than one million Australians living abroad, and for those who have returned home. A distinguished group of Australian provocateurs and pioneers, who themselves have made a significant impact on the global stage will select the winners.

The Advance Global Australian Awards will be held at the iconic Sydney Opera House on 14 September.

The complete list of shortlisted finalists can be found on

Adrian Cheok Featured in Documentary Series DOCU – Documenting the Curious at FutureFest 2015 London

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DOCU is a documentary film format produced by Nefula to explore Curious Rituals, New Normals and Possible Futures through the faces and the opinions of artists, researchers, designers, scientists, thinkers and activists from all over the World.

In the first episode of DOCU #00 you will enjoy some extracts from the interviews given by our guests about privacy, p2p ecosystem, Blockchain and more.

Adrian Cheok appears in this episode of DOCU as one of the featured guests. Other guests include:

Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information (Oxford Internet Institute), Ian Brown, Principal Investigator, the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre, (Oxford Martin School), Primavera De Filippi, Researcher Fellow, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law, Brett Scott, Author & Financial hacker, Adam Harper, Author, Michel Bauwens, Founder of the P2P Foundation.

Interview in History Repeating Itself Podcast: Sex Machines in Our History

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Listen to Adrian Cheok talk about transmitting touch, taste and smell over the Internet in the latest episode of History Repeating Itself.

Episode 21 – Sex Machines in Our History

Steam-powered vibrators the size of kitchen tables, the importance of dildos in Ancient Greece, and the future of sex machines in the second installment of our series on synthetic relationships.


Hyperconnectivity and the Future of Internet Communication

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A new book by City’s Professor of Pervasive Computing, Professor Adrian Cheok, probes the ubiquitous and exponential impact of the internet and digital connectedness on modern society.
by John Stevenson


Hyperconnectivity and the Future of Internet Communication (Lambert Academic Publishing, May 2015) is the title of a new book edited by City University London Professor of Pervasive Computing, Professor Adrian Cheok.

Professor Cheok, who is also the Director of the Imagineering Institute in Iskandar, Malaysia, has worked extensively and with distinction over the last two decades in the fields of augmented and mixed reality, pervasive and ubiquitous computing, entertainment computing, fuzzy and embedded systems. In recent years his work has centred on developing a variety of applications in the realm of the multisensory internet exploring digital taste, smell and touch actuation with devices such as the RingU and the Scentee.

His new book brings together a cluster of perspectives on the rapid developments in internet connectivity which have given rise to profound change at technological, social, political and economic levels. The chapters range across many areas which have felt the impact of the brave new world of hyperconnectedness: the 2008 United States Presidential Primary Race; the notion of a virtual collective consciousness mobilised during the Arab Spring of 2011; the concept of an ethically digital world; large-scale multiplayer pervasive games; digital materiality and augmented reality. These are a few of the topics dealt with in Hyperconnectivity and the Future of Internet Communication.

In the following Q&A, Professor Cheok responds to questions about hyperconnectivity, virtual collective consciousness and the multisensory internet.

John Stevenson: What is hyperconnectivity?

Professor Adrian Cheok: Hyperconnectivity refers not only to the technology that enables communication and interaction, but also to the impact that this technology has on personal lives, business, government and societal behaviour. Hyperconnectivity results from a combination of the wider availability of broadband internet expansion, the exponential growth in proliferation of mobile and wearable computing devices and high speed wireless internet access.It includes the dominance of social media and consumer generated media in daily life and recently, the use of the cloud for data and applications access. Hyperconnected communication includes not only human-to-human formats (as individuals and as members of groups and using a vast array of digital media), but also communication between people and machines and between machines and machines without any direct human involvement.


JS: Readers of your book are introduced to the concept of virtual collective consciousness. Can you explain what this means to you? PAC: The idea of a global (collective) virtual consciousness is a bottom-up process and a rather emergent property resulting from a momentum of complex interactions taking place in social networks. This kind of collective behaviour (or intelligence) results from a collision between a physical world and a virtual world and can have a real impact in our life by driving collective action. The sudden fall of long-lasting dictatorships in countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Libya was accomplished with a new type of revolutionary ammunition: social media. The collective behaviour exhibited during the Arab Spring uprisings was enormously facilitated and accelerated by Web 2.0 mass communication tools such as Facebook and Twitter. The fast-paced dynamic of the interactions between users involved in the Tunisian and subsequently, the Egyptian cyberspaces, was motivated by the time-independent, non-physical mobilisation of people.These social networking platforms represent a new milestone of the globalization process and certainly a new and promising venue for collective opinion sharing. E-democracy is, indeed, a compelling example with respect to this kind of societal changes as a new vision of democracy where ordinary citizens can regain control of their decisions by sharing a broad-based social consensus. The latter can enhance citizen empowerment through today’s information technologies (IT) and give rise to what is now known as leaderless revolutions. JS: How close are we to having commercially available digital taste and smell? PAC: To pursue the next stage of the internet, humans should not only communicate emotions with visual, audio and tactile stimuli but also with smell and taste. Humans will want to share these stimuli collectively and experience them digitally as they currently do with the visual and audio media on the internet.

To start off, we have developed an electrical tongue actuator stimulation device. The initial experimental results suggest that sourness and saltiness are the main sensations that can be evoked alongside the evidence of several sweet and bitter sensations. More importantly our next prototype will generate sweet sensations using thermal stimulation. We expect this research to culminate with a wearable unit that can be clipped inside the mouth. Users can wear this unit in daily lifestyle situations for augmentation. I believe we will be able to have digital taste as a commercial product on the market within the next two to three years. We will be performing a detailed fMRI study to compare the proximity of digital taste generation to corresponding chemical tastes.

Digital smell is still more at the concept and experimental level at the moment. We are developing a technology to electromagnetically stimulate the user recipient’s olfactory bulb or brain for the purpose of generating smell. This device will be smaller in size where the person could have it in an upper area of the mouth, beneath the palatine bone, triggering the smell-sensitive neurons in the brain. It may take a few years to develop this technology. It could take another five to ten years to see a digital smell product on the market. Our research will also open up a multitude of new horizons and opportunities for future research including areas such as human computer interfaces, entertainment systems, medicine and wellness. The digital controllability of taste and smell sensation provides a useful platform for engineers, interaction designers, and media artists to develop multisensory interactions remotely, including the generation of new virtual tastes and smells for entertainment systems. For scholarly research, this would help bring about answers to exactly what is the language of taste and smell.

To purchase Professor Cheok’s new book, please visit this weblink.


Nesta Podcast: Future Thrills – Adrian Cheok discusses augmenting our senses

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In the second episode of FutureFest podcast, which asks how far we’ll go to get our kicks in the future, Paul Dolan, author of Happiness By Design, explores what happiness is and how to find it, Professor Adrian Cheok looks at the future of thrill-seeking as we start to augment all five of our senses with virtual reality, and comedian Dan Schreiber (the man behind the popular No such thing as a fish podcast) shares his time travel to-do list.

FutureFest is Nesta’s weekend festival of radical ideas, compelling talks, and immersive experiences to inspire, excite and challenge perceptions of the future. The most recent festival took place in March 2015 in London.

More FutureFest podcast:

Virtual chocolate and coffee flavoured alarms: the future of multi-sensory technology

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Advance logo 63mm lockup C Screen v03

Born and raised in Adelaide, Adrian David Cheok graduated from the University of Adelaide with a First Class Honors, Bachelor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering followed by an Engineering PhD. His studies lead him to a career working on mixed reality, human-computer interfaces and ubiquitous computing amongst other things. Currently chair Professor of Pervasive Computing at City University London he is also Founder and Director of the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore. He was formerly full Professor at Keio University and Japan Graduate School of Media Design, as well as Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore. He has previously worked in real-time systems, soft computing, and embedded computing in Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs, Japan.

Interview by Anna Groot, Advance Asia Director

What first lead you to studying electrical and electronic engineering?

As a young boy I wanted to take apart toys, games, watches etc. as I was fascinated by how they worked inside. My first computer was an Apple II and in those days Apple used to publish the full schematics (electronic circuit diagrams) of the computers. I was really fascinated by how all those electronic parts and connections could make a computer and so I studied those diagrams.

I began building electronic circuits (such as radios etc.) as a hobby when I was a teenager and when I went to university I decided to study architecture as I was also really interested in design and fashion. In those days there weren’t any courses that merged technology and the arts like digital media programs dothese days, so I decided to do architecture and do both design and technology. I found I wasn’t so interested in architecture and missed learning about electronics, so the next year I changed courses to study electrical and electronic engineering.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m currently working on an area called multisensory internet communication, which is internet communication that involves all of our senses including touch, taste and smell. Humans will be able to experience new types of communication environments using all of the senses, where we can see virtual objects in the real environment, virtually touch someone from a distance away, and smell and taste virtual food. We will be able to communicate our feelings and emotions to each other more effectively with all of our senses. In order to do this, I’m working on new technologies that allow digital transmission of taste and smell. We have developed a digital taste interface that can produce basic tastes using electrical and heat stimulation. By varying the magnitude and frequency of the electric current and heating or cooling the tongue, the users can feel artificial taste sensations such as sour, bitter, sweet and salty on their tongue.

This is done only through electrical methods without any chemicals involved, which ultimately allows taste to be transmitted through the Internet as a stream of digital signals. I’m working on ways to digitize our sense of smell. This will lead to an interface which can produce a range of smell sensations without any chemicals, hence allowing different types of smells to be sent through the internet.

Even though humanity has never been connected so much before, we can often have a lack of understanding of real feelings or sense of presence between the sender and receiver. The metaphor of communicating through a screen or window or glass can limit the sense of immersion and limit the ability for humans to communicate effectively.

In traditional human communications, body gestures, the physical environment, and touch can often more deeply explain the intended message and provide intrinsic information, which makes for a more rich communication exchange.

Furthermore, we often communicate emotionally using all the senses simultaneously, including sight, touch, sound, but also through taste and smell, such as sharing a meal together or cooking for a partner. We thus need to create fundamentally new forms of media to connect humans in the physical world and through the virtual world, not just in the transmission of information and verbal communication, but through meaning and nonverbal communication to increase the sense of telexistence using all the senses. This will allow more opportunities for people to make meaningful exchanges using media in both the physical and virtual world.

There will be various novel research trends and standards from the study of feeling communication. At the fundamental level, we need to develop new theoretical models of communication that unleash the potential for innovation in tele-communication from the physical media through the virtual world. Human communication habits and preferences are continuously changing and evolving. A contemporary model includes the role of media and user context and provides for a model that recognizes the more complex context of the communication process and the possibilities of new media being truly extensions of man.

“recent studies show subjects using the sense of smell to determine the emotions of another person in much the same way as ants use pheromones.”

Researchers need to go beyond the traditional approach and focus on human emotions, feelings, and nonverbal language as key components in the communication process. Recent studies have helped to illustrate that human senses are more acute and versatile than expected. For example, recent studies show subjects using the sense of smell to determine the emotions of another person in much the same way as ants use pheromones. This type of research is just beginning to unfold new mysteries of human perception, which shows the potential for a new and more meaningful sense of presence with these new media technologies.

I aim to develop new technologies related to multimodal sensing and actuation to give the user more definition in their experience in the co-space environment. Visual, Auditory, Haptic, (Olfactory) Smell, and (Gustatory) Taste are the five sensors that humans use for environmental sensing, and communicating emotional feeling. In addition to traditional communication through telephone and video-conferencing, the use of smell, and taste communication will enable a new paradigm of tele-communication. It is a field, which still presents great technical challenges which can lead to early technical breakthrough results.

Based on these inventions, I believe such a multisensory telecommunication will allow new forms of collaboration and learning on a global scale. I am particularly interested in how children will grasp these technologies to make new innovation and value creation. I am thus in in the process of examining how to nurture and inspire young children to create new value propositions that will benefit their individual selves, communities and countries. In the 21st century the democratization of communication tools may allow emerging markets to make creative leaps into new business and industry. We can view young children in developing countries as creative innovators and ambassadors of new technologies, rather than passive end-user consumers. Thus in this aim, I am creating design applications and workshops with the use of new media technologies for children in local schools.

In summary, my research goals are to produce novel communication technologies and telexistence paradigms to allow a presence of all our five senses, as well as non-verbal and emotional communication through digital networks and the physical world of humans and devices/gadgets. I have great passion for making new inventions that can affect families, society, business, and the environment in the future in a positive way.

What are some of the differences you have noticed between students in Australia, Japan, Singapore and the UK?

I found Singapore university students to be generally smart as a whole but somewhat limited in creativity. I think this is because of the Singapore school system being very rigid and focusing on hard sciences. I also found that a lot of students were not really interested in their university courses, but were going through the motions to pass the exams and do well in the exams. In other words they wanted to rote learn for the exams and do well in them, but not really have an intellectual interest in the subjects. I had little contact with Singaporean students at Ph.D level in my lab at the National University of Singapore, because almost all the Ph.D students were foreigners.

In Japan I found that students were really creative and had a strong sense of curiosity. Some of the most interesting and exciting new ideas I have found come from students in Japan. They were willing to think differently. However I found in Japan students were often shy about expressing themselves or asking questions. Also I think because of the problems of the Japanese economy, quite a few university students didn’t really take their studies seriously. They were more concerned to do enough to get a job in a good company.

In UK the students are very international, because people from all around the world want to come and study here. Because of this they are competing with the world’s best and so the good students in the UK really are great, passionate and intellectual.

What are some mixed reality electronic trends you are seeing right now that really excite you?

On the commercial side I think it is very exciting that Facebook acquired Occulus Rift – this means that an influential company such as Facebook sees that Virtual Reality will be the future of the Internet, and they have a lot of capital to turn it into a reality.

On the research side, scientists are beginning to connect electrical circuits to neurons (mice, insects). I predict that with the rapid exponential increase of technology we will see a direct connection of mixed reality content to our brains, without the need for external actuators in our lifetimes.

Are there any developing trends within robotics that scare you?

Not really, I believe that in the near future robots will become part of our home life, family life, work life, just the same as Internet. Robots have an immense positive application to be friends and companions. For example there are many elderly people who have almost no contact with family or friends, leading to loneliness and depression. Imagine if we were able to create a grandma or grandpa robot to not only help them in their daily life, but to be their friends and companions.

How do you think we will be using technology in ten years that we are not doing today?

We are going to see a merging of human and machines (mentioned above). We will have direct brain connections to the virtual world and internet. Similarly more and more of our bodies will become machines (already people have implants and artificial limbs and this will only increase). Soon we will not be able to easily draw the line between human and machine / robot.

What has been your favourite project to date?

Human Pacman and Poultry Internet

If you were able to change or influence one aspect of Australia what would it be?

I think the way we have treated and continue to treat Aborigines is quite dreadful. We should have a treaty like New Zealand and America made with the native population. Also I think the way migrants are treated like a prisoner and put in faraway camps is quite terrible (we don’t really see that in the UK or Europe).

If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be?

I like to be on the blue sky, cutting edge so whatever the field I would like to push the boundaries be radical, and explore the unknown.

Who are some of your role models?

Nikola Tesla and Alan Turing. I was also a huge fan of Paul Keating when I was younger. I really appreciated his radical visions, eloquence with words and wit.

Which part of the world do you think is leading the way in technological innovation?

In the past I would have said Japan, but now I would say USA. After the tsunami disaster Japan had to use US military robots because the Japanese robots were not up to the task in the disaster areas. Before Docomo was the leader of mobile phone technology, now it is Apple.

Do you have any plans to return to Australia?

Yes, always. If someone offered me an interesting opportunity I would be on the next plane!

What could Australia learn from the UK and vice versa?

Even though Australia is a migrant country the UK is actually much more international. London is an incredible metropolis with all the cultures of the world. Australia should embrace much more people from around the world.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Dry Martini. Shaken not stirred. 🙂

What do you most enjoy about living in London?

It is an incredible city with so much culture, museums, history, art, theatre, entertainment. It is just incredible to be able to walk into so many world leading museums or visit famous palaces. There is also so much to do for kids in these places, so I have had an amazing time with my daughters in London. Every day and every night there is so much on in London.

Do you have a favourite spot in the world?

One of my favorite things is to be in an outdoor Japanese Onsen (hot spring) when it is snowing. It is so refreshing to be hot in the hot spring and have snow falling on your head at the same time.

Do you have a life motto?

To achieve results there is no easy way, we must work hard. There is a kind of joke, but kind of true. The first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time, and the last 10% takes 90% of the time also – i.e. we need to work hard and persevere to make success.

Do you have any advice for students about to embark on a career in electronics?

Make sure you work on something quantum step and not incremental. People will remember work that is quantum step and breaks barriers. Be radical.

– See more at:

Where is Tech Taking Us?

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Eighties movies may have foreseen a future full of flying cars and hover boots – but now that we’re here, the closest we’ve got is the driverless cars of Milton Keynes. So what’s next?


Wear your tech on the inside
Apple and Android both recently unveiled their respective smartwatches. But the key will be how they work with our bodies, believes Ghislaine Boddington, creative director of body>data>space and a speaker at this weekend’s FutureFest. “We need wearables that don’t inhibit us. Google Glass didn’t take off because it slightly dislocates people from the world.” These wearables are also set to become more beautiful and more personalised. Already, Kovert Designs’ jewellery subtly lets you know when you have a call or text; Wearable Solar charges devices via power stored in cloth.

But apparel is not the limit. “We’re already seeing hearing aids that use bone conductivity,” says Boddington. “And I believe we’ll see more adornments that link to our skeletons.” The same goes for implants. Common in medicine, they are on course to enter the consumer realm. “In the next ten to 15 years we could see pinhead implants in the base of your thumb that open doors. To access bank accounts, there could be a convergence of PIN codes, iris scans, fingerprints and implants.”

“Robots will become as normal as friends.”
It seems that humans are repulsed by things that seem almost human, but aren’t quite. It’s a concept known as the “uncanny valley” (named after a deep dip in the graph representing our comfort levels). Robot makers have grappled with this for years, but now we’re starting to feel more comfortable with almost-human interactions.

Robot expert Adrian Cheok believes we will overcome our fear. “On a basic level we’re used to AI, for instance, talking to Siri on our iPhone. But robots will have to become more humanoid because our world is built for human forms.” In Japan, robots are in use in care homes and are successfully becoming liked, even loved, by humans. “We are not logical machines because we have a subconscious. Eventually, our natural empathy for living creatures will extend to robots. More and more, we will live with them in our homes – robots will become as normal as friends.”

Taking our jobs…
Will robots take our jobs? In short, yes. Sort of. “Roles that require the least intelligence will be automated, but we’ve seen this before in the industrial revolution, and even after the invention of the internet. It will mean humans find better, more creative things to do.”

Creativity is key even in the short term, agrees Boddington. “Where we currently have STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), I’d add an A for Arts,” she explains. In the male-dominated tech industry, there are gaps in the diversity of user experience. “There needs to be a much bigger role for creativity. For instance, a fitness band may look gorgeous but if it rubs, that’s a design fault. Jewellery designers would know that stuff.” Boddington is also a big advocate of preparing now for the future. “Coding isn’t going away. Everyone should learn the basics. Maybe you’ll love it – but even if you don’t, it gives you confidence. The more women we have in the industry, the more balanced it will be.”

Get the crystal ball rolling at FutureFest this weekend

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Posted at 1:30 pm, March 13, 2015 in Arts & Entertainment


How will we live, work and play in London in years to come? Sara O’Reilly previews FutureFest and what lies ahead. Illustration Alex Gamsu Jenkins.

A mash-up of persuasive speakers, provocative performances and immersive experiences is heading our way. Hosted by Vinopolis at Bankside, FutureFest promises the shape of things to come. An eclectic programme juxtaposes scholarship and spectacle and there’s an impressive a line-up of speakers. They include NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden (by video link), fashion’s eccentric grande dame Vivienne Westwood, funk original George Clinton, author Jon Ronson and Helena Kennedy QC.

So what’s on offer, and what will it mean for London? Well, if Smell-o-vision takes off, we predict a return of the Great Stink, which plagued the capital back in 1858. The original was caused by the combination of high temperatures and untreated human and industrial waste. But the effect of Great Stink 2.0 could be much worse if everyone with a smartphone starts sharing the odours of their life the way they currently bombard each other with pictures. What child would be able to resist the potential of a fartphone?


Then there’s mayhem that could follow in the wake of the introduction of mixed-reality thrill rides controlled by brain waves. If virtual roller coasters do replace the real thing, then what other activities might also be conducted entirely in our heads? Consider the daily commute. Not exactly a thrill ride. But what if all 8.7 million of us decided to do it while ensconced within a virtual reality headset?

The daily chaos would be more apocalyptic than your worst ever rush hour. Though at least you’d never have to talk to another stranger. On the bright side, when we finally crowdsource political parties, the diverse makeup of the capital will be accurately represented and we’ll have politicians in hoodies and burqas instead of a bunch of identikit blokes in the same suit.

As for the impending chocolate famine (which you’ll hear a lot about about at FutureFest), it sounds bad, but at least we’ll all get effortlessly slender and spend less time at the dentist.

One thing that we are sure about is that none of this is going to happen overnight. So nip along to FutureFest, check out the highlights, and get a sneak preview of what your grandkids will be reading about in Time Out.


Mixed-reality thrill ride Neurosis
Developed by Professor Brendan Walker with Middlesex University and others, Neurosis, which gets its world premiere at Futurefest, is a motion simulator with a virtual-reality headset that immerses the user in a surreal environment controlled by their own brain activity.
Sat Mar 14 and Sun Mar 15, all day.
Time Out predicts The death of conversation, once everyone retreats into their own heads.

Adrian Cheok, professor of Pervasive Computing at City University London, will be talking about developments in the relationship between humans and technology. He’ll explain some of the new developments that will allow people to communicate using all their senses, including touch, taste and smell. He’ll also be presenting a number of working prototypes, including one that brings smell-o-vision to life.
Sat Mar 14 and Sun Mar 15, 11.45am-12.35pm.
Time Out predicts Phonecalls accompanied by an overpowering waft of Chanel No 5 and the eyewatering odour of onion.


EL PAÍS Interview – La ciencia y la gastronomía comen en la misma mesa

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San Sebastián 10 MAR 2015 – 19:06 CET

Las jornadas Diálogos de Cocina ahondan en San Sebastián sobre el potencial de la tecnología en los fogones

El científico Adrian Cheok, en un debate de Diálogos de Cocina, junto al chef Paco Morales.

“Precisión, textura”, “La tecnología en la mesa te puede desconectar de la experiencia en sí”, “La tecnología es una herramienta más”, “El alma no anida en la tecnología”, “No nos podemos olvidar de lo importante, es decir, de lo que comemos”, “Es necesaria, no hay evolución sin tecnología”, “La tecnología siempre es necesaria, pero también me gusta escuchar la música en vinilo”. Las reflexiones, recopiladas por el cocinero Mario Sandoval, corresponden a otros tantos chefs sobre la relación de la tecnología y la gastronomía o de lo que las primeras pueden aportar a la segunda.

La quinta edición de las jornadas Diálogos de Cocina, que reúne entre ayer y hoy en San Sebastián a cocineros, diseñadores, ingenieros y periodistas, entre otros, bucea, en una parte de su programa, sobre el potencial de la tecnología y la ciencia en la gastronomía. También, sobre las dudas y los recelos de mezclar ambos campos.

Teléfono inteligente que permite oler aromas de comida.

Precisamente, Sandoval, ha detallado, en una mesa redonda junto al investigador Adrian Cheok, el chef Paco Morales, y Javier Portolés, de la empresa Inhedit, como ha desarrollado una patente junto al CSIC para la hidrólisis del huevo, que permite reproducir diferentes texturas. La patente fue vendida a una empresa estadounidense y llegará a Europa el próximo año.

Sandoval, quien ha impulsado varios trabajos con el CSIC, ha explicado que lo que le animó a ponerse en contacto con investigadores fue la labor previa que había desarrollado en este terreno Andoni Luis Aduriz, chef de Mugaritz, impulsor de Diálogos de Cocina, junto a Azti Tecnalia, una empresa vasca de investigación. En definitiva, de acercarse a un mundo, el científico, que aunque a priori parezca completamente alejado de la gastronomía puede aportar mucho a esta y viceversa. “Realmente la patente ya la tenía un investigador en su cajón”, ha apuntado Sandoval, pero la clave resultó aplicar la técnica al huevo.

“Nos queda mucho por avanzar, un camino enrome por descubrir”, ha añadido Sandoval, tras la intervención de Paco Morales, que ha comenzado a introducir las impresoras 3D en su cocina. El cocinero de Noor ha detallado que la tecnología forma parte de su quehacer diario desde hace cinco años. “Nos da mucho miedo aplicar la tecnología”, ha precisado, pero ello no impide que experimente en su cocina con la impresión de alimentos, una técnica, que de momento, está desarrollando entre bambalinas, pero sobre la que no ha dudado en asegurar que algún día, quizás, “se aplicará como la Thermomix. Hace 30 años la gente se llevaba las manos a la cabeza con un microondas, y ahora es normal”.

El cocinero Paco Morales, con alimentos de una impresora 3D. / A.FERNÁNDEZ GUTIÉRREZ

“Un chef no solo compra alimentos, crea experiencias, y lo digital se une a lo analógico, es un maridaje habitual el del científico y el chef, el de empujar las fronteras”, ha defendido el ingeniero australiano Adrian Cheok, responsable, entre otras cosas, de un proyecto para la transmisión de olores y sabores electrónicamente.

“La incertidumbre de entrar en terrenos que se desconocen. Muchas veces no sé a dónde voy, pero lo que debemos saber es donde no queremos estar”, ha resaltado Aduriz, que trabaja junto a Cheok. “El proceso de trabajo con alguien creativo tienta desde el alma porque independientemente del resultado, en el proceso va a haber un aprendizaje”.

Science Museum Exhibition – Cravings: Can your food control you?

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Find out how the food you eat affects your body, brain and eating-habits. See our electric taste interface exhibited in the Cravings exhibition at London’s Science Museum! Free Entry.

Screenshot 2015-03-14 16.42.10

What drives your desires for the foods you love? Is it the colour of your spoon, the food your mum ate while pregnant, the trillions of bacteria that dine with you, or the little known ‘second brain’ in your gut?

From the flavours you learned to love in the womb, to the very next bite you take, your appetite has been shaped by food. Through personal stories, fascinating objects and cutting-edge science and technology, explore how food affects your body, brain and eating habits.

Visit Cravings in our Antenna gallery to:

  • See an artificial gut whirring away.
  • Take part in a real experiment on flavour perception.
  • Touch some 3D-printed mice, sniff a scientific smell kit, and ‘chew’ some ‘bread’ in our interactive displays.
  • Play Craving Commander and express your opinion on how we can get raging cravings under control. Should we ban cake except on birthdays? Use smart refrigerators that police what we eat? You decide in this fast-paced game.
  • Discover unconventional dining utensils designed by scientists and chefs to trick our sense of taste.
  • Find out if scientists think we ‘eat with our eyes’ and if we can be ‘addicted’ to food.

Interview in daily BERRIA, The Basque Country

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2015-03-11 / Edu Lartzanguren

Jana konposatu eta inprimatuko dugu

Etorkizuneko janaz eta janaren etorkizunaz mintzatu da ‘gerologo’ australiarra Basque Culinary Centerren. Zapore sintetizadoreekin, inoiz probatu gabekoak dastatuko ditu aurki gizakiak, dioenez.

Gailuen eta gizakien arteko harremanen guru bat da Adrian David Cheok (Adelaide, Australia, 1971). Nonahiko Informatika irakasten du Londresko City Unibertsitatean, hau da, gizakiek ordenagailuekin zelako harremana izango duten makinok bizitzako zokorik bazterrenetara ere heltzen direnean. Sukaldaritzaz mintzatu da Basque Culinary Centerren, Donostian, Sukaldeko solasaldiak ekitaldian.

Internet bidez, zaporeak eta usainak zabaltzeko garatu dituzun gailuak erakutsi dituzu. Ziur zaude jendeak gauzak usaindu nahi dituela Internetez edo telefonoz?

Jendeak ikusten du gero eta gehiago komunikatzen garela Internet bidez, baina konturatzen dira oraindik oso zaila dela zure benetako bizipenak eta emozioak komunikatzea. Laster, bost zentzumenak erabiliko ditugu Internet bidez: elkar besarkatuko dugu, ukituko, usainduko. Elkarrekin bazkaldu ahalko dugu Internet bidez. Telepresentzia mota berria izango da. Gure ikerketen arabera, jendeak erreakzio positiboagoa du, telefonoan, irudiaz gain, ikusten duenaren usaina jasotzen duenean. Gaur, janaren irudiak dira bigarren kategoria nagusia Instagramen. Zaporea eta usaina bidaltzerik dutenean, sekulako merkatua egongo da hor.

Duela 30 urte 2015. urterako norberak bere helikopteroa izango zuela esaten zuten. Ez al zaio berdin gertatuko zuk iragarri duzun etorkizunari?

Gustu sorgailu elektronikoa hemen dago. Prototipoa da, baina primeran dabil. Zure mingaineko gustu hargailuak zuzenean kitzikatzen ditu, eta gozoa zein gazia burmuinean sortzen dizkizu, gai kimikorik gabe, digitalki. Zaporeak bidal ditzakezu Internetez, gaur musika eta irudiak bidaltzen dituzun bezala. Era berean, usaimena zuzenean kitzikatzeko eremu magnetikoak erabili nahi ditugu. Japonian eta AEBetan salgai daude jada usain mezuak bidaltzeko gailu hauek [telefonoan bidali usaina tekla sakatu du, eta lore usaina zabaldu da]. Oskar Mayer haragi etxearekin iratzargailu hau egin genuen: hirugiharrak zartaginean frijitzean egiten duen zaratarekin eta botatzen duen usainarekin esnatzen zaitu [sakatu du: hirugihar lurrina hedatu da].

Zure familiak zerikusia du garatzen ari zaren teknologiarekin?

Bai. Erdi malaysiarra naiz eta erdi greziarra. Familia dut Malaysian, Grezian eta Australian. Ezinezkoa zait denekin fisikoki elkartzea, baina, honekin, Gabonetako afari birtual bat izan ahalko dugu, eta janaren usaina zein gustua partekatu munduan sakabanatuta egonda ere. Interneten hurrengo fasean, bizipenak partekatzea izango da garrantzitsuena.

Gaur musikarako sintetizadoreak dauden bezala, jana edo zaporeak digitalki sortuko direla diozu. Baina benetan jan ahalko ditugu?

Bai. CDak sortu zituztenean jendeak uste zuen Beethovenen 9. Sinfonia orkestra etxean balego bezala entzuteko zela bakarrik. Baina, musika digital egin zenean, konposatzeko modua bera ere aldatu egin zen, eta genero berriak sortu ziren. Gustua eta usaina digitalizatzen ditugunean, jendeak hasieran esango du: «Hara, txokolate tarta baten zaporea bidali ahalko dut». Baina benetako iraultza izango da hasiko garela bestelako jana programatzen eta 3D inprimagailu batekin inprimatzen. Gustu berriak izango dira, orain usaindu ere egiten ez ditugunak. Jana konposatu, inprimatu eta Internetez banatuko dugu laster.

Malaysiara joango zara. Errazago onartzen dituzte teknologia berri hauek Asian Europan baino?

Ikerketa institutu bat eratuko dut han, Interneten geroa imajinatzeaz gain, benetako gailuak sortzeko. Europa zoragarria da sorkuntzarako, Pizkundetik dabilelako mugak hautsi nahian. Asia tradizionalagoa da, baina oso ongi onartzen ditu robotak, budismoan edozein gauzak duelako arima. Europa eta Asia lankidetzan hasten badira, oso ideia sendoak eta berriak sortuko dira.

The future of extreme thrills – Guardian

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Nicola Davis, Monday 9 March 2015

Why are humans attracted to intense, thrilling experiences that expose us to danger?

Nicola Davis is joined by Professor Adrian David Cheok of City University London. He’s the founder of the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore. Also in the studio isProfessor Brendan Walker, the artist-engineer behind Neurosis, a mixed-reality thrill ride which will be shown at FutureFest, a weekend of immersive experiences, performances and speakers designed to excite and challenge perceptions of the future. Joining them is the journalist Kit Buchan, who recently tried out Brendan’s Neurosis ride.

Can virtual experiences provoke the same responses as real ones? Where is science and technology taking us next in our search for strange and extreme thrills? And should we be wary of the physical and psychological consequences of virtual reality?

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