Switch on the lights by blinking, with special headset on show at ITE fair

Minister of State for National Development and for Defence Maliki Osman (right) trying on a headset that enables him to turn on the power flow to a socket during the ITE Fiesta at ITE College East. He is accompanied by (from second left) ITE director
Minister of State for National Development and for Defence Maliki Osman (right) trying on a headset that enables him to turn on the power flow to a socket during the ITE Fiesta at ITE College East. He is accompanied by (from second left) ITE director and CEO Bruce Poh, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say and East Coast GRC grassroots adviser Jessica Tan.PHOTO: ITE
(From left) ITE director and CEO Bruce Poh, ITE College East deputy principal (Academic) Lim Teck Lee, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say and ITE East physical education section head Kang Jau Yew inspecting a handcycle used in Cycle50 Wheels for Wheels.
(From left) ITE director and CEO Bruce Poh, ITE College East deputy principal (Academic) Lim Teck Lee, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say and ITE East physical education section head Kang Jau Yew inspecting a handcycle used in Cycle50 Wheels for Wheels.PHOTO: ITE

SINGAPORE - Control electrical appliances with just the blink of an eye.

This is not a scenario from a science-fiction movie, but a function enabled by a headset on display at a fair held at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College East on Sunday.

The headset was a project by students from ITE College West and targeted at helping immobile patients to live more independently.

It uses brainwaves, measured by attention level or eye blinks, to allow patients to switch on lights and fans, or trigger alarms in case of an emergency.

Now in its fifth year, the SG50 ITE Fiesta 2015 aims to raise the profile of the ITE by allowing members of the public to attend workshops, take part in activities and view projects by ITE students .

Eight thousand people are expected to attend the event on Sunday, with 2,000 secondary school students attending a special session on Monday.

"Human capital is the most precious capital for the future of Singapore. ITE plays a very important part," said Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower and MP for East Coast GRC on Sunday. He attended the event with three other MPs for East Coast GRC, Mr Lee Yi Shyan, who is also Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and National Development, as well as Dr Maliki Osman and Ms Jessica Tan.

The fiesta also featured "Cycle50 Wheels for Wheels", where 47 cyclists and three handcyclists cycled 50 laps around ITE College East's running track to raise $12,420, donated by Nikko Asset Management Asia, for the purchase of 50 wheelchairs.

These wheelchairs will go to the beneficiaries of six voluntary welfare organisations and three constituency offices in the Southeast District, including Al-Ansar Mosque and the Bethesda Care & Counselling Services Centre.

As part of the event, 50 beneficiaries of Thye Hua Kuan Bedok Radiance Senior Activity Centre received groceries worth $3,500, including cereal and canned food courtesy of NTUC Fairprice Foundation. These were delivered to them by taxis from Trans-cab Services.

"I believe that this fiesta will show what ITE students are capable of," said Bryan Tan Guang Jun, 18, a second year student pursuing a Higher NITEC in Chemical Technology.