Stream Asia 2012 Report

Here is a general summary of Stream from the home page of Stream Asia:

We are pleased to announce that our second Stream Asia event will take place 8 – 11 March, 2012, in Phuket, Thailand.

Hosted by Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, and Yossi Vardi, internet investor and founder of Kinnernet, Stream Asia will bring together around 300 top creatives, entrepreneurs, investors and corporate leaders who come together to learn from, and contribute to, the freshest thinking on the future of technology and communications.Click here to see the current attendee list.

The format of the event follows the ‘un-conference’ model with limited keynote speeches and PowerPoint presentations; instead participants are invited to take part in discussions on the latest industry topics in communications and technology. Click here to see a list of previous discussions.

Attendance is by invitation only. For more information on Stream Asia please email The Stream Team.

I flew from Narita airport on Thursday, and arrived a little bit late in the night time. But luckily I was in time for the Gadgethon. As I am more used to technical conferences, I thought that this would be a session of people showing their own demos. However it was mainly showing the latest and coolest gadgets that people have found. A kind of “hot topics”. The coolest think I thought was not anything digital at all, it was purely analog. It was a very cool, geeky, and kind of secret agent type jacket where it has hidden pockets for putting all your gadgets in, even iPad ( The cool thing is when you are travelling, it is basically like having another carry on bag which you wear. I am sure the FAA will count these as baggage if many people start wearing them, but for now it is a very cool air travel hack. Thanks to Gary Shainberg (@garyshainberg) for showing this.

The next day was the start of the discussions. There were about 8 discussions sessions at any one time, so it was difficult to know what to attend, as almost all of them looked very interesting. One of my favorite sessions was about social media and revolution 2.0 which was chaired by Thomas Crampton (@thomascrampton).

However the greatest highlight was in having impromptu and serendipitous discussions with the amazing people attending the event, and also some of my favorite people who were also attending. One of my serindipitous moments was that I happened to bring a book along with me to read on the plane which was a gift to me from Gino Yu (@phusikoi) more than 5 years ago, which I never had time to read before. I was reading the book on the plane and thinking of Gino. Gino coincidentally happened to be one of the first persons I bumped into at Stream. After many years we had a long and deep discussion together.

Another highlight was happening to sit together with all the Ogilvy & Mather people at the dinner. It was one of those lucky chances that serendipitously happen in life. If I knew the table was all Ogilvy & Mather people I might have chosen to sit somewhere else, in case I was interrupting or bothering some company discussion. As it was, I sat together, and we had amazing discussions and I realized they were very interested in smell and taste media themselves!

In the night time there was the Ignite sessions. I gave a presentation on next generation of experience communication on the internet and some of my work on touch, taste, and smell media. It was kind of thrilling to give the presentation because the slides automatically flipped over every 15 seconds. It was a great experience, and it really helps to sharpen ones mind and presentation style. I really enjoyed to listen to the other Ignite presentations. One that I remember the most was about things to do after turning 40, because this was very relevant to me having just turned 40 🙂

Another serendipitous moment came very late in the night at about 3am. I was in the lobby area doing late night computing, and started chatting to ) and Judith Clegg (@judithclegg). Olivia was from Singapore, but I felt she was quite a radical and rebel person, which I really liked. I found she was really interested in Poultry Internet also. We talked about some internet business ideas, and even meditation.

Judith is Founder & CEO of innovation agency Takeout. Founder and The Glasshouse network  a  100 million dollar early stage investment fund. She had so many wise thoughts and insights and I discussed with her some internet business ideas. The next day I was able to have lunch with her and talk get a lot of great advice from her. That is the great thing about Stream, being able to learn from many wise and talented people such as Judith.

The next day was also full of great discussions followed by a final dinner and party. I had to catch a bus at 7am on Sunday morning to the airport, but I realized I was still chatting to people, as well as dancing Michael Jackson together (there was an Xbox set up with the Michael Jackson dancing game). I only had time to shower, pack, and get on the bus before catching my flight. Thank you to ) Director of WPP Stream and all the organizers of Stream for a fantastic and amazing event.

ARE 2012 1st Keynote Speaker Announced: Adrian David Cheok Inventor of “Krazy” Augmented Reality!

ARE 2012 1st Keynote Speaker Announced: Adrian David Cheok Inventor of “Krazy” Augmented Reality!
Posted on Mar 09 in ARE2012 by Ori


The line up of luminary speakers to keynote at ARE 2012, the world’s largest augmented reality event, will blow your mind.

The first revealed is Adrian David Cheok, Professor at Keio University, Graduate School of Media Design, in Tokyo Japan, as well as a Young Global Leader at World Economic Forum.

Dr. Cheok has been a hero of mine in pushing the envelop of augmented reality. He will join an amazing group of keynote speakers in previous years.

Adrian has been a champion of the idea that Augmented Reality is more than just about the visual sense, but has to include all the senses. Over the years, he’s been working hard to prove his idea and created many prototypes of augmented reality systems that involve the other senses.
To warm you up, check out his Hug Accentuator.

I can’t wait to see his Kissinger system in action.

(Hint: it’s not about the legendary statesman.)

Dr. Adrian David Cheok also created the first real world Pac Man game. When he wanted to create an exciting augmented reality game, he chose to remake the first video game to ever introduce a character – the legendary Pac Man. Cheok literally stepped into Pacman’s shoes in this first-person-shooter-like real world game.

Make sure to register for ARE 2012 before the early bird discount expires on March 21st.

Here’s an excerpt from Adrian’s illustrious career so far:

Adrian David Cheok was the Founder and Director of the Mixed Reality Lab, Singapore. and previously worked in real-time systems, soft computing, and embedded computing in Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs, Japan.

Mr. Cheok has been working on research covering mixed reality, human-computer interfaces, wearable computers and ubiquitous computing, fuzzy systems, embedded systems, power electronics. He has successfully obtained funding for externally funded projects in the area of wearable computers and mixed reality from Nike, National Oilwell Varco, Defense Science Technology Agency, Ministry of Communications and Arts, National Arts Council, Singapore Science Center, Hougang Primary School. The research output has included numerous high quality academic journal papers, research awards, keynote speeches, international exhibitions, numerous government demonstrations including to the President and Prime Minister of Singapore, broadcast television worldwide broadcasts on his research (such as CNN/CNBC/ABC/Discovery/National Geographic etc.), and hundreds of international press media articles.

In addition, Mr. Cheok has been a keynote and invited speaker at numerous international conferences and events. He was invited to exhibit for two years in the Ars Electronica Museum of the Future, launching in the Ars Electronica Festival 2003. His works “Human Pacman”, “Magic Land”, and “Metazoa Ludens”, were each selected as one of the worlds top inventions by Wired and invited to be exhibited in Wired NextFest 2005 and 2007. More…

United merger today goes terribly wrong. Shows a moral about life.

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I called United today to cancel a booking, and make another booking using my miles. What normally would take 5 minutes or so, took nearly 2 hours! The reason was today was the actual day of the United and Continental merger.

Firstly my United mileage plus account was gone. The lady could then retrieve my new Continental One Pass mileage number, but then I realized almost all my miles were missing!

The lady asked if I can go to the web site to create a new pin while she held on the phone. To my amazement, the entire United Airlines and Continental Airlines web site around the world (USA and Japan site) is completely down! The lady told me then that there were so many problems it looks like the web site was completely shut down. Finally after about one and a half hours, the lady could make my booking. But then she couldn’t issue the ticket because my miles are missing. It was kind of a Catch-22 nightmare. Finally the lady (who was very nice, and apologized many times) made the booking and put it on hold for 3 days in the hope that my miles will somehow be found.

This experience showed to me that even the largest airline in the world, which has spent months and months and probably millions of dollars in planning, can completely crash due to complexity. We can learn from this that complexity of life is so multidimensional and nonlinear that it is effectively impossible to predict or control. If we decide to plan for even a small event, we can be caught up in “analysis paralysis” and spend all of our energy to control life. Instead, similarly to Zen philosophy, we should remove our expectations, and stop trying to control life. Instead let life flow, and let our minds and bodies flow with it.

SPECIAL ADDRESS at Khazanah Megatrends Forum

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (eighth edition) are issued every five years since 1980 and serve as the cornerstone of US nutrition policy and nutrition educational activities. Eating patterns and their food and nutrient characteristics are major focus areas of of the 2015-2020 dietary guidelines. These recommendations are based on a large body of evidence to support the relationship between a healthy eating pattern and constituent nutrients on chronic disease risk. A healthy dietary pattern is high in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, seafood, legumes, and nuts; moderate in low- and non-fat dairy products; lower in red and processed meat; and low in sugar-sweetened foods and beverages and refined grains. Try out alpilean.

The guidelines recommend three different USDA healthy eating patterns: the Healthy US Style eating pattern, the Healthy Mediterranean Style eating pattern and the Healthy Vegetarian Eating pattern, all of which can be adapted based on cultural and personal preferences. Interestingly, they share many common food-based features (Table 1). The Healthy US Style Eating pattern is based on the types and proportions of foods Americans typically consume, but in nutrient-dense forms and recommended amounts. Specific recommendations also have been made for saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars: < 10% of calories from saturated fat; < 2,300 mg of sodium/day; and < 10% of calories from added sugars. Compared to the Healthy U.S.-Style Pattern, approximately 75% of the population has an eating pattern that is low in vegetables, fruits, dairy, and oils, yet more than half of the population is meeting or exceeding total grain and total protein foods recommendations. In addition, the majority of Americans exceed recommendations for saturated fat, sodium and added sugars. On average, saturated fat accounts for 11 percent of total calories, with less than 30 percent of individuals consuming amounts that are consistent with the recommendation of less than 10 percent of calories. Average sodium intake is 3,440 mg per day for the US population (aged 1 year and older). In general, average daily intakes are higher for adult men (4,240 mg) than adult women (2,980 mg). Added sugars contribute on average nearly 270 calories, or more than 13 percent of calories per day in the US population. This is approximately 70% above the recommendation or proposed limit. The new dietary guidelines did not make a recommendation for dietary cholesterol for the following reason, “Adequate evidence is not available for a quantitative limit for dietary cholesterol specific to the dietary guidelines.” The dietary guidelines also state the following: “Strong evidence from mostly prospective cohort studies but also randomized controlled trials has shown that eating patterns that include lower intake of dietary cholesterol are associated with reduced risk of CVD, and moderate evidence indicates that these eating patterns are associated with reduced risk of obesity.” The current intake of dietary cholesterol in the US is approximately 270 mg per day. The food-based eating patterns that are recommended in the dietary guidelines contain approximately 100 to 300 mg of cholesterol.

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Global dietary quality in 185 countries from 1990 to 2018 show wide differences by nation, age, education, and urbanicity


Evidence on what people eat globally is limited in scope and rigour, especially as it relates to children and adolescents. This impairs target setting and investment in evidence-based actions to support healthy sustainable diets. Here we quantified global, regional and national dietary patterns among children and adults, by age group, sex, education and urbanicity, across 185 countries between 1990 and 2018, on the basis of data from the Global Dietary Database project. Our primary measure was the Alternative Healthy Eating Index, a validated score of diet quality; Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and Mediterranean Diet Score patterns were secondarily assessed. Dietary quality is generally modest worldwide. In 2018, the mean global Alternative Healthy Eating Index score was 40.3, ranging from 0 (least healthy) to 100 (most healthy), with regional means ranging from 30.3 in Latin America and the Caribbean to 45.7 in South Asia. Scores among children versus adults were generally similar across regions, except in Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia, high-income countries, and the Middle East and Northern Africa, where children had lower diet quality. Globally, diet quality scores were higher among women versus men, and more versus less educated individuals. Diet quality increased modestly between 1990 and 2018 globally and in all world regions except in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, where it did not improve. Check these phenq reviews.-


Poor diet is a leading cause of disease worldwide, responsible for an estimated 26% of global preventable mortality. While individual foods and nutrients are important, overall dietary patterns are more strongly associated with health5. Evidence supports interactive and synergistic relationships between foods and nutrients when consumed together6, resulting in complementary effects

While the various components of an optimal dietary pattern are well established and validated7, the distributions of such patterns globally are not well characterized. This is particularly true for children and adolescents, among whom global dietary patterns have not previously been reported.

Previous dietary studies have been limited to small subsets of countries, used national per capita food availability or sales data as direct data inputs, which substantially misestimate intake compared with individual-level data15 and did not include children, adolescents or young adults (<25 years old)Additionally, there is a paucity of evidence on global disparities in dietary patterns, for example by age, sex, education and urbanicity. Also, no previous global studies have jointly assessed several validated metrics of diet quality17, such as the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and the Mediterranean Diet Score (MED).

In this Article, to address these gaps in knowledge, we characterized global, regional and national dietary patterns and trends on the basis of individual-level intake data among both adults and children from 185 countries in 1990 and 2018. Findings were further assessed by age, sex, education and urbanicity within each country. This analysis utilized the latest Global Dietary Database (GDD) 2018 data, based on individual-level dietary surveys around the world.


The GDD is a collaborative effort to systematically identify, compile and standardize individual-level dietary data on 53 foods, beverages and nutrients (Methods). The GDD uses Bayesian modelling methods to estimate dietary intakes jointly stratified by age, sex, education, level and urbanicity for 185 countries between 1990 and 2018. These are the latest alpilean reviews.

Global and regional diet quality in 2018

In 2018, the global mean of the AHEI score was 40.3 (95% uncertainty interval (UI) 39.4, 41.3), with regional means ranging from 30.3 (28.7, 32.2) in Latin America and the Caribbean to 45.7 (43.8, 49.3) in South Asia (Fig. 1). Among components of the score, highest global scores for healthier items were for legumes/nuts (5.0; 4.8, 5.3), followed by whole grains (4.7; 4.5, 5.0), seafood omega-3 fat (4.2; 3.8, 5.1) and non-starchy vegetables (3.9; 3.8, 4.0); among unhealthier items, highest scores (lowest or most favourable intakes) were for sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) (5.8; 5.7, 5.9) and red/processed meat (4.8; 4.5, 5.1). However, these score components varied substantially by world region. For example, top scores in South Asia were for higher whole grains and lower red/processed meat and SSBs, while top scores in Latin American and the Caribbean were for higher legumes/nuts and lower sodium.

figure 1
Fig. 1: Global and regional mean AHEI component scores by age (all ages, children only and adults only) in 2018.

National diet quality in 2018

Only ten countries, representing <1% of the world’s population, had AHEI scores ≥50. Among the world’s 25 most populous countries, the mean AHEI score was highest in Vietnam, Iran, Indonesia and India (54.5 to 48.2) and lowest in Brazil, Mexico, the United States and Egypt (27.1–33.5) (Fig. 2). Most component scores varied substantially across these populous countries. For example, a 100-fold difference was seen in the sodium score, a 90-fold difference in the red/processed meat score and a 23-fold difference in the SSB score. Among the components, the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and non-starchy vegetable scores varied the least (two-fold and three-fold, respectively) across populous countries. Read more about alpilean.

figure 2
Fig. 2: National mean AHEI scores among children (left) and adults (right) in 2018.

Global and regional differences across demographic subgroups

Globally, the mean AHEI score in 2018 was similar among children (39.2; 38.2, 40.3) versus adults (40.8; 39.8, 42.0) (Fig. 1). However, the mean AHEI score was substantially higher among adults compared with children in Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia, high-income countries, and the Middle East and Northern Africa region. By age, most regions had J- or U-shaped relationships, with the highest scores observed among the youngest (≤5 years) and/or oldest age groups (≥75 years) (Fig. 3).

figure 3
Fig. 3: Global and regional mean AHEI scores, by age (years) in 2018.

Among the AHEI components globally, four component scores were lower among children versus adults: fruit (2.2 (2.1, 2.3) versus 2.5 (2.4, 2.5), respectively), non-starchy vegetables (3.1 (3.0, 4.5) versus 4.3 (4.2, 3.2)), SSBs (5.3 (5.1, 5.5) versus 6.1 (6.0, 6.2)) and seafood omega-3 (3.3 (2.9, 4.0) versus 4.7 (4.2, 5.7)), while two others were higher among children versus adults: PUFAs (2.1 (2.0, 2.2) versus 1.4 (1.3, 1.5)) and sodium (4.6 (4.1, 5.1) versus 3.2 (2.9, 3.5)) (Fig. 1).

By sex, the mean AHEI score was generally higher in women versus men globally and regionally, with the greatest differences seen in high-income countries (difference +4.4; 3.8, 5.0), and Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia (+3.6; 2.1, 5.3) (Extended Data Fig. 1). Evaluating different AHEI components globally, women had modestly higher scores for fruit (+0.2; 0.2, 0.3), non-starchy vegetables (+0.3; 0.1, 0.4) and whole grains (+0.4; 0.2, 0.5).

Evaluating differences according to educational attainment, AHEI scores were greater among individuals with a higher education level globally and in most regions, except in the Middle East and Northern Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, where no differences were evident (Fig. 4). Among world regions, differences by education were largest in Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia (+3.6; 2.4, 4.9), Latin America and the Caribbean (+3.5; 0.9, 6.0) and South Asia (+2.9; 1.1, 4.9). Globally, more educated individuals had higher scores for fruit (+0.8; 0.7, 0.9), sodium (+0.7; 0.3, 1.1), whole grains (+0.6; 0.4, 0.8) and non-starchy vegetables (+0.5; 0.4, 0.6). However, in contrast, more educated individuals also had lower scores (less favourable consumption levels) for red/processed meat (−0.6; −0.7, −0.5), SSBs (−0.6; −0.8, −0.4) and nuts and legumes (−0.1; −0.2, −0.1) globally.

Analog still is better than digital even for kids

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This weekend was the Workshop Collection at Keio University Hiyoshi campus. It is an amazing event where there are literally hundreds of workshops put on by groups, students, companies. The aim is to make creative workshops for kids. Each workshop lasts about half an hour. The event had an incredible attendance, thousands of kids and their parents.

One of my observations was that seemingly simple workshops which used no digital technology seemed to be the most popular. I judged popularity by the lines or people formed. For example one of the most popular workshops by far was a “furikake” workshop. Furikake ふりかけ is a dry Japanese condiment meant to be sprinkled on top of rice. At this workshop the kids chose their own recipe of dried vegetables and crushed them. It sounds so simple right? Well this workshop had huge lines of more than 3 hours. Somehow the kids enjoyed immensely to choose their own vegetables and make their own furikake recipe which they then could take home.

Another workshop was sponsored by Muji and it was to cut out pieces of cloth and then glue them onto a plain canvas bag. Muji made special labels that the kids could write their names on. The kids made wonderful and creative bag designs.

And another one at first seems so simple. It was called “A space of laundry pegs”. Basically the kids worked together to put pegs on clothes line racks to make colourful creations just from pegs.

All these workshops were so popular. And I am not saying the workshops with computers, or ipads, or robots weren’t also cool and creative. But the kids voted with their feet. I think they wanted to have authentic experiences. Even in the internet age and the internet generation it seems simple and analog is best.

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In his article, Groupthink, the New Yorker’s Jonah Lehrer says there are two types of brainstorming — a free-for-all exchange of ideas in a structured environment, and a random, unplanned debate. Only the second type really works.

He says M.I.T.’s famous Building 20 — which is now replaced with the Stata Center, designed by Frank Gehry— became one of the most innovative spaces in the country because it fostered the best kind of brainstorming.

MIT’s ‘Building 20’ Is Proof That Only A Certain Kind Of Brainstorming Works – Business Insider

It seems that the kind of brainstorming that is often used in creative circles may not be effective. It would be good to carefully examine this, as often we take the brainstorming style as the best creative practice. What seems to really work is random unplanned debate in close physical spaces. I tried to create this in my lab in Singapore. The administration and management people were very much opposed to my efforts to make a cubicle free open space. They seemed to love walls and cubicles in Singapore. However the physical closeness seems to be critical for creative research. The building 20 at MIT which was an accident of the war effort seems to be one of the best examples.

Brainstorming Doesn’t Really Work : The New Yorker

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A few years ago, Isaac Kohane, a researcher at Harvard Medical School, published a study that looked at scientific research conducted by groups in an attempt to determine the effect that physical proximity had on the quality of the research. He analyzed more than thirty-five thousand peer-reviewed papers, mapping the precise location of co-authors. Then he assessed the quality of the research by counting the number of subsequent citations. The task, Kohane says, took a “small army of undergraduates” eighteen months to complete. Once the data was amassed, the correlation became clear: when coauthors were closer together, their papers tended to be of significantly higher quality. The best research was consistently produced when scientists were working within ten metres of each other; the least cited papers tended to emerge from collaborators who were a kilometre or more apart. “If you want people to work together effectively, these findings reinforce the need to create architectures that support frequent, physical, spontaneous interactions,” Kohane says. “Even in the era of big science, when researchers spend so much time on the Internet, it’s still so important to create intimate spaces.

Brainstorming Doesn’t Really Work : The New Yorker

The more I work with the internet, and the more I do research in interactive media, the more I have realized, and seen studies, which show that interaction through internet has some basic limitation. It seems that even in today’s highly connected internet society, physical presence is critical. This study shows that for academic collaboration the best research occurs when the authors are highly physically present in the range of metres. It is my hypothesis (and this needs further academic research) that this is partly because we communicate through all of our senses (including touch, taste, and smell) and through non-logical emotions. These still cannot be communicated effectively through the internet.

Brainstorming Doesn’t Really Work: The New Yorker

posted in: Research

Jones’s explanation is that scientific advances have led to a situation where all the remaining problems are incredibly hard. Researchers are forced to become increasingly specialized, because there’s only so much information one mind can handle. And they have to collaborate, because the most interesting mysteries lie at the intersections of disciplines. “A hundred years ago, the Wright brothers could build an airplane all by themselves,” Jones says. “Now Boeing needs hundreds of engineers just to design and produce the engines.” The larger lesson is that the increasing complexity of human knowledge, coupled with the escalating difficulty of those remaining questions, means that people must either work together or fail alone. But if brainstorming is useless, the question still remains: What’s the best template for group creativity?

Brainstorming Doesn’t Really Work : The New Yorker

This very interesting article in the New Yorker succinctly summarizes why interdisciplinary fields are the most interesting in today’s society. This is because we have effectively solved most human and technology problems that are important in the industrial age of the 20th century. In the 21st century the remaining problems are very challenging, and are at the boundaries of disciplines. This is why areas such as media design are much more interesting that traditional disciplines. When I used to read some of the research output or attend some faculty talks in my Electrical and Computer Engineering department, I found most of it mind-numbingly boring. The kind of academic papers and research topics that were so incremental and of almost no interest or impact to general society. Now I find I am constantly challenged and amazed and presented with new ideas by both faculty and students who come from diverse areas such as design, business, management – and technology as myself. I still find hard core geeky hacking interesting for myself, but now I know the problems in society that all of society talks about are the most interesting and most important.

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