“Technology artist and designer Eugene Soh, aka Dude, uses technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality in creative and innovative ways to help the elderly in nursing homes stay engaged and active.
Prize sponsor for the 360 Immersive Video Challenge, Eugene hopes to create a library of 360 immersive videos to improve the quality of life for the elderly. “I hope to encourage their social interaction and foster a sense of agency for them to make their own decisions. Hopefully it will be helpful to them, and they will get healthier and stronger.”
In the recent Tatler article: Meet the 2021 Gen.T Honourees Who Are Advocating Change in Singapore, explains that he Creates VR activities for nursing home residents to allow them to continue to experience the world. “These experiences can help to relieve their sense of social isolation and keep them engaged from the comfort and safety of their chairs,” says Soh. Other activities include a walking tour of Chinatown and a collaboration with charity Cycling Without Age to bring VR rides to the elderly during the pandemic.
Last year, he debuted an immersive VR room where images and videos can be projected directly onto the walls so the elderly can “travel” to different places or revisit nostalgic memories with ease. He also worked with occupational therapists to create a guided exercise programme for residents.
“The installation also solves the hygiene issues of using VR goggles and proved very useful during the pandemic. Whether they want to exercise or ‘visit’ the Great Wall of China with friends, they can do it,” says Soh.
Also the founder of Dude Studios, a creative tech studio focusing on creating VR, augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence content, is a self-taught computer programmer. He first garnered attention after his photograph, The Last Kopitiam, a tongue-in-cheek riff on Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper painting, went viral in 2012. The interest led to galleries and companies getting in touch for collaborations, sparking the launch of Dude Studios.
This year alone, Soh, aka Dude, has created tech‑led content for various companies, including a Chinese New Year Instagram filter game for Lego, a newspaper tracking filter for Netflix Indonesia and an AR installation for The Seletar Mall. A partner of Spark AR, a global network of content creators chosen by Facebook, Soh is particularly noted for his elaborate filters such as a series of Facebook filters for Kindness Sg that will teach users the sign language gestures of phrases such as “thank you” and “you’re welcome”