T.Ware

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ADDED BY
Singapore Memory Project
MEMORY OF
Ngee Ann Secondary
DATE
18/5/2015

1. Introduction 

T.Ware is a Singaporean start-up company founded in 2011, and located in Ayer Rajah, Singapore. (1) (7) Its first product, T.Jacket is a vest based on wearable technologies. The vest is targeted at individuals with special needs, particularly those who experience high levels of stress and anxiety. (1) (2)  The current CEO is co-founder Dr. James Teh. (1)

2. History 

T.Ware was founded by NUS graduates James Teh, Lin Wei Liang and Lai Sep Riang. (1)
The idea for the T.Jacket was a result of Dr. Teh’s research on wearable and haptic technologies, where haptic technologies reproduced the sense of touch, in designing a remote-hugging system for parents and their children, so parents could “hug” their children from afar. In an interview with the Straits Times, Dr. Teh shared that in looking for commercial applications for the technology, he and his co-founders sought a “do-good impact” that would “help to solve problems and improve lives.”

A visit to an autism center for children in 2011 highlighted a “compression technique” used when the children were experiencing stress. (1) (3) Recognizing the potential benefits of the technology in helping children with autism and anxiety to calm down, the founders interviewed teachers and therapists to understand current coping methods. Eventually, the designing and testing of their product was conducted with a local hospital and the Thye Hua Kuan Early Child Intervention Centres. [3]

The first prototype of a deep pressure jacket went into development in early 2012. (1) Investment funds came from two of the forty investors approached, amounting to $500,000, with an additional $250,000 grant money from SPRING Singapore. (3) The vests are produced in China, Singapore and Malaysia. (1) (3)

In 2014, the company won the top prize in the 2014 Asian Entrepreneurship Award in Japan and continued to work with Japanese research organizations to boost their presence, as well as to distribute their product in the region. [2] T.Ware also received a grant from DBS Bank in 2015 to subsidise the vest for “local users”, and to fund the company’s efforts in research and marketing. (1) [4] 
In Singapore, the Straits Times reported that the vest is used by “therapists, special needs schools” and children with autism, while a Swedish hospital is using the vest for “patients with social disorders and aggressive tendencies.” The vest is also distributed in Japan, and the company has plans to distribute in Australia and Europe. (1) (3)[6]

3. Product                                                                                            		                                                                                                                                                                

When worn, the T.Jacket applies a deep touch pressure that simulates the feeling of a hug, acting as a calming agent to users who may be stressed or anxious at the time of usage. In trials conducted, the team observed a 30 percent increase in children’s attention levels during lessons, when deep pressure was applied. [1] 

4. Technology

T.Jacket is connected to the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth and controlled via the T. Jacket app (available on Apple iOS and Android). (1) (6) When activated via the app, internal airbags inflate to create a firm squeeze onto the shoulders and abdomen, hence giving the feeling of a hug. The applied pressure can relieve tension and anxiety in children. (3) [5] Sensors within the vest also monitor and report user activity to the app, which can then provide a record of the vest’s usage. (5) The vest also controls the variable air pressure used to comfort the user, to prevent acclimatisation to the pressure. (6) User activity levels, such as the duration, strength and frequency of the hugs, are updated in the T. Cloud system, which provides tracking and easy access to caregivers as well as independent users at all times. (5) (6)

5. Future Developments

 The company is looking to produce a wider range of products, designed for mobility and comfort that leverages on our existing haptic technology. (1)

Written by:  

Liao Weishun
Julian Christie 
Joseph Hing. 

6. References

1.	Harper, Justin (2014). Wearable Tech with a Do-Good Factor. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Proquest 16 March 2015. 

2.	National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore. T.Jacket. 
http://www.nrf.gov.sg/innovation-enterprise/singapore-science-technologies-showcase/interactive-digital-media/t-jacket

3.	Ong, Cheryl. (2013). A hug in time – from T.Jacket. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva March 2015.

4.	Portraits of Purpose: T.Ware.
http://www.asiaforgood.com/news/portraits-purpose-tware

5.	PSFK Labs, iQ Content Partner. Extending The Intimacy of Touch Over Distance Through Wearable Tech
http://iq.intel.com/extending-the-intimacy-of-touch-over-distance-through-wearable-tech/

6.	T Jacket. What is T. Jacket?
 http://www.mytjacket.com/what-is-tjacket.html

7.	T Jacket. Contact Us
http://www.mytjacket.com/contact-us.html