Tech innovations on show at this year's ITE fiesta

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 yesterday at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College East.

The headset is a project by ITE College West students, aimed at helping immobile patients 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 emergencies.

The headset was one of 45 projects at the fair. Others included a piano that improves cognitive functions and motor skills of the elderly, and a device that uses smartphones and fingerprints to register work attendance.

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

STUDENT SHOWCASE

"I believe that this fiesta will show what ITE students are capable of."

BRYAN TAN GUANG JUN, 18, a second-year student pursuing a Higher Nitec in chemical technology and student council president at ITE College East

Eight thousand people were projected to have attended the event yesterday, with another 2,000 secondary school students attending a special session today.

"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 an MP for East Coast GRC yesterday. He was at the event with three other East Coast GRC MPs - Mr Lee Yi Shyan, who is also Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and National Development; Dr Maliki Osman, Minister of State for Defence and National Development; and Ms Jessica Tan.

The fiesta also featured "Cycle50 Wheels for Wheels", where 47 cyclists and three handcyclists did 50 laps around ITE College East's running track to raise $12,420, donated by Nikko Asset Management Asia, to buy 50 wheelchairs. The wheelchairs will go to the beneficiaries of six voluntary welfare organisations and three constituency offices in the South East District.

As part of the event, 50 beneficiaries of Thye Hua Kuan Bedok Radiance Senior Activity Centre received groceries worth $3,500, including cereals and canned food courtesy of NTUC FairPrice Foundation, delivered to them via 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 ITE student.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2015, with the headline 'Tech innovations on show at this year's ITE fiesta'. Print Edition | Subscribe