Pravar Jain

Biomedical Engineer + Gastronome


Special talent? Maybe.
Passionately curious? Definitely.

Here, we present a novel methodology to digitally share the flavor experience of a glass of lemonade (or other similar beverages) remotely. The proposed method utilizes a sensor to capture valuable information (primarily, the color and the corresponding pH value) of the lemonade and a customized tumbler to virtually simulate these properties using plain water. Thus, the system consists of three main components: 1) the lemonade sensor, 2) the communication protocol, and 3) a customized tumbler, acting as the lemonade simulator. Initially, the sensor captures the color and the pH value of the lemonade and encodes this information based on an established communication protocol for wireless transmission. On receiving the information from the sensor, the lemonade simulator overlays the color of the drink on plain water using an RGB Light Emitting Diode (LED) and simulates sour taste sensations on the user’s tongue via electrical stimulation. By simulating the experience of drinking a glass of lemonade through the digital reconstruction of the beverage’s main visual and taste factors, the results from these experiments will be able to justify the feasibility of teleporting a glass of lemonade using this novel methodology. More information 

Keywords: Teleport; virtual lemonade; virtual reality; food teleportation; beverage communication; multimodal interaction.

Ambiotherm is a wearable accessory for Head Mounted Displays (HMD) that provides thermal and wind stimuli to simulate real-world environmental conditions, such as ambient temperatures and wind conditions, to enhance the sense of presence in Virtual Reality (VR). Ambiotherm consists of a Ambient Temperature Module that is attached to the user’s neck, a Wind Simulation Module focused towards the user’s face, and a Control Module utilising Bluetooth communication. More information 

Keywords: Ambient temperature; virtual wind; virtual reality; multimodal interaction.

Being a pleasurable sensation, sweetness is recognized as the most preferred sensation among the five primary taste sensations. We present a novel method to virtually simulate the sensation of sweetness by applying thermal stimulation to the tip of the human tongue. To digitally simulate the sensation of sweetness, the system delivers rapid heating and cooling stimuli to the tongue via a 2×2 grid of Peltier elements. To achieve distinct, controlled, and synchronized temperature variations in the stimuli, a control module is used to regulate each of the Peltier elements. Results from our preliminary experiments suggest that the participants were able to perceive mild sweetness on the tip of their tongue while using the proposed system. More information 

Keywords: Thermal taste; virtual sweet; sweet; virtual reality; multimodal interaction. 

Laba (Horn in Chinese) is a modular speaker that explores sonic interactions with materials and shapes. It draws inspiration from traditional gramophones and comprises of interchangeable acoustic horns that modulate sound to complement the music style. The iconic acoustic horns are designed to limit the radiative energy dissipation of soundwaves and instead directs it towards the user. In-order to achieve acoustic manipulation for the intended purpose, these horns, although similar in form, vary in material and internal design. More information 

Keywords: Speakers; materials; interactions; modular; tangible.

For deafblind individuals, the absence of visual and auditory communication channels can prevent meaningful interactions with the people and world around them, leading many to suffer with both mental and social issues. To utilise the available sensory channels (e.g. taste, haptic, and olfactory) of deafblind individuals, tactile stimuli are one type of feedback that can be employed to enable communication with the outside world. We have developed a wearable assistive device that converts speech and text into tactile stimuli, and vice versa, to enable efficient communication between deafblind and non-impaired individuals. In addition to employing tactile stimuli, we believe that olfactory and taste stimuli may also be incorporated into future versions of the system in order to deliver non-time sensitive information, such as local navigational data. More information 

Keywords: Haptic; tactile; sensory substitution; deafblind; finger braille.

Soft robotic actuators unlike rigid-link actuators are lightweight and easy to fabricate. However, these soft actuators lack suitable stretch sensing elements for feedback control. Commercially available sensors such as FlexiForce are flexible but not stretchable. Previously, researchers have developed soft sensors  using conductive liquid, carbon nanotube, silver wires or by embedding rigid sensing elements in stretchable substrates. These sensors have complicated designs and are associated with high costs as they utilise materials like gold, silver wires, carbon nanotubes etc. Here, we present a simple, low cost, easy to fabricate, soft resistive sensor capable of stretch sensing. The proposed design employs graphite deposited on hyper elastic substrates to produce scalable stretch sensors. More information 

Keywords: Soft robotics; Stretch sensor; Soft actuator; Wearable electronics.

Studies show that 24% of the elderly suffer from cognitive impairment, have poor safety awareness and are at high risk of falls. Increase in the size of the elderly population, the decreasing supply of healthcare personnel and the emergence of chronic diseases due to changes in lifestyle are leading to escalation of healthcare costs. To tackle safety concerns of the elderly and to reduce medical expenditure by proactive personal health management, there is a need for a wearable continuous health monitoring and remote diagnostic system. 

The aim of this project was to design, develop and clinically test a compact wearable lightweight wireless device to detect health parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure, body posture, physical activity levels, body temperature as well as acquire and transmit ECG and geo-location of the elderly in real-time for prediction of abnormalities associated with certain activities and fall events. More information 

Keywords: Wireless Body Sensor Network (WBSN); wearable health monitoring; ARM Cortex M4; activity index; fall events.

Peer-Reviewed Papers

  • Ranasinghe, N., Jain, P., Karwita, S., Tolley, D., & Do, E. Y. L. 2017. Ambiotherm: Enhancing Sense of Presence in Virtual Reality by Simulating Real-World Environmental Conditions. In Proceedings of the 35th SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Denver, Colorado, May 6 – 11, 2017). CHI ’17. ACM, New York, NY. 

  • Ranasinghe, N., Jain, P., Karwita, S., & Do, E. Y. L. 2017. Virtual Lemonade: Let’s Teleport Your Lemonade! In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interactions (Yokohama, Japan, March 20 – 23, 2017). TEI ’17. ACM, New York, NY. 183-190. 

  • Ranasinghe, N., Jain, P., Tolley, D., Karwita, S., Yilei, S., & Do, E. Y. L. 2016. AmbioTherm: Simulating Ambient Temperatures and Wind Conditions in VR Environments. In Proceedings of the 29th Annual Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (Tokyo, Japan, October 16 – 19, 2016). UIST ’16. ACM, New York, NY. 85-86. 

Peer-Reviewed Abstracts / Posters / Invited Presentations

  • Ranasinghe, N., Jain, P., Karwita, S., Tolley, D., Chew, B., Bansal, A., & Do, E. Y. L. 2017. Enriching the Lives of Deafblind Individuals Through Sensory Substitution (Interfaces to Interact, Communicate, and Entertain). In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’17) – Workshop on Amplification and Augmentation of Human Perception (Denver, Colorado, May 7, 2017). [email protected] ’17. ACM, New York, NY. 

  • Jain, P., Ramachandran, G.K., Yeow, R.C.H. 2016. Graphite-based resistive stretch sensor for feedback control of soft actuators. Podium presentation at the 16th International Conference on Biomedical Engineering. (Singapore, December 7 – 10, 2016). ICBME ’16. IFMBE. 

  • Ranasinghe, N., Yan, L., Lin, L. Y., Jain, P., Tolley, D., Karwita, S., Ngyuyen, T. N. T., Yen, C. C., & Do, E. Y. L. 2017. Augmenting Flavors with Virtual Taste, Smell, and Color Sensations. US Provisional Patent No. 62/472,777.

  • Ranasinghe, N., Jain, P., Tolley, D., Karwita, S., Yilei, S., & Do, E. Y. L. 2016. AmbioTherm: Simulating Ambient Temperatures and Wind Conditions in VR Environments. US Provisional Patent No. 62/408,319.

  • Ranasinghe, N., Jain, P., Karwita, S., Tolley, D., Chew, B., Bansal, A., & Do, E. Y. L. 2017. Interface For Information Exchange And Communication Between And Among The Sensory Disabled And Non-Disabled Individuals. SG Non-Provisional Application No. 10201703584W.

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In the past, I’ve been associated with:


NUS Jobspire

KEIO-NUS Albaraka


NUH Proxitee

HCG Swastik

Fortis  SIZR