Temasek Poly students have bright idea to fix roll call issue
TP students come up with system to take attendance using lights
For more than 1,000 Temasek Polytechnic (TP) students taking the transnational studies module each year, nightly roll call for a mandatory on-campus living component has been a pain.
Each night at 10.30pm, students have to squeeze into their lecturers' apartments to register their presence, then return to their rooms, where they must stay until classes start the next morning.
The entire process would take half an hour and cause bottlenecks at the lift.
Three students came up with an idea to solve this and beat 100 other ideas, winning them a trip to Amsterdam in a competition sponsored by Philips.
The final product, to be piloted this month, uses visible light communication (VLC) technology to allow students to stay in their rooms and mark their attendance by activating their room lights using their smartphones.
Transnational studies is a cross-disciplinary subject teaching cross-cultural skills. There is a two-week residential stay requirement at the school's student apartments for international and local students to live and learn together.
Student Lim Wei Qi, 20, who is pursuing a diploma in integrated facility management, said: "It was inconvenient (taking attendance), and some students would be in their pyjamas and go down in inappropriate attire."
She and other students created MINESpace, a system that allows students to register their attendance by holding their phones to Philips smart lights in the 68 student apartments.
Sensors on the phones would indicate they have returned, and the data would be transmitted to their lecturer in real-time through an application.
Ms Lim submitted the idea in October last year as part of a contest organised by TP and Philips Lighting.
She and teammates Jaspreet Kaur, 20, and Chua Yun Xuan, 19, are in the same programme.
Their prize was a visit, in March this year, to the Philips headquarters in Amsterdam, where they made a presentation to the company's senior management on why they should invest in their idea.
Philips later supplied them with more than 100 hours of mentorship and the lights to be installed in the dorms.
Four students from the diploma in infocomm and network engineering worked with the trio to build the app and website after the trip.
They have met industry professionals regarding MINESpace.
Mr Jitender Khurana, head of professional lighting systems (Singapore and export markets) at Philips Lighting, told The New Paper that VLC technology could lead to greater employee well-being and productivity.
He said: "The basic operating principles of VLC, which enables communication between a user's personal smart device and a digital ceiling of sensors embedded into light fixtures, allow this technology to be rolled out in other settings like a supermarket or mall."