Singapore hunts for fashionable wearable tech

By GovInsider

Fashion meets tech as students of Temasek Polytechnic design wearable devices.

Singapore has run a competition to get ideas and designs for fashionable wearable tech. The government’s public transport payments card - EZ Link - partnered with Temasek Polytechnic, asking students to design wearables for public transport payments and other forms of micropayments.

The competition was open to students from the polytechnic’s School of Design, and received 50 entries. A total of S$10,000 was awarded to eight winning teams in two categories.

In one category, students designed wearable tech products. The winner - a product called Varia - allows people to convert a payments device into an accessory of their choice - such as a necklace, wristband, or just a pocket clip.

The second prize went to Ez-Clip, a payment wristband which comes in three colours. Third prize was given to the Ez-Wear team for a “futuristic” wristband inspired by “asymmetrical fashion design”, EZ-Link said in a statement.

Participants in another category designed Singapore-inspired graphics for wearables. The winning design - called Singapore In My Hands - uses graphics based on maps of Singapore’s roads.

“With the rising popularity of wearables, this is also an opportunity for EZ-Link to tap upon our pool of young talents and nurture their interest in next-generation technology,” said Nicholas Lee, Chief Executive Officer, EZ-Link - a subsidiary of the Land Transport Authority.

Singapore plans for payment on public transport to be completely hands-free one day. Commuters would be automatically charged when they enter a bus or train with a payment card on them. It ran public trials for wearables for public transport payments from August 2015 to February 2016.

Image by See-ming Lee; CC BY-SA 2.0