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Suranga Nanayakkara

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Nationality  Sri Lankan
Name  Suranga Nanayakkara

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Born  10 October 1981 (age 34) Piliyandala, Colombo, Sri Lanka (1981-10-10)
Institutions  Singapore University of Technology and Design
Doctoral advisor  Lonce Wyse, Elizabeth Taylor and SH Ong
Known for  Inventor of EyeRing, SPARSH, StickEar and HapticChair
Institution  Singapore University of Technology and Design
Alma mater  National University of Singapore, MIT Media Lab

Other academic advisors  Pattie Maes

Suranga Nanayakkara: Humanizing technology

Suranga Nanayakkara (born 1981) is a Sri Lankan computer scientist and Inventor. As of 2014, he was the head of Augemented Human Lab and Assistant Professor at Singapore University of Technology and Design. He is best known for his work on EyeRing and Haptic Chair. His research interests include Wearable Computing, Assistive Technology, Ubiquitous computing, AI, Collective intelligence and Robotics. MIT Technology Review honored Nanayakkara as one of the Innovators Under 35 for Asia Pacific Region 2014.


Education and research

Suranga is from Piliyandala, which is situated in Colombo District in Sri Lanka. Having received his secondary education from Royal College, Colombo, he completed bachelor's degree in electrical and computer engineering from the National University of Singapore in Singapore. He holds a PhD in Engineering from National University of Singapore. Suranga spent half a year at University of Birmingham and half a year at University of Southern California under student exchange program. Later he was a postdoctoral researcher with Pattie Maes’s Fluid Interfaces Group at MIT Media Lab.


He joined Singapore University of Technology and Design as an assistant professor in 2011, and as of 2014 served as the head of the Augmented Human Lab.


Suranga is best known for his work EyeRing - A finger-worn interface for seamless interactions Haptic Chair - Audio visual system to provide a more satisfying musical experience to deaf people and StickEars – a sound-based sticky note like device to make everyday objects more accessible. Among some of his other work, Suranga has invented SPARSH – a way to copy-paste data between digital devices; FingerDraw - way to extract colours and textures from nature and bring them into digital drawings.

Awards and achievements

  • Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP), Sri Lanka award 2015, by JCI Sri Lanka
  • Young Innovator under 35 (MIT TR35) 2014 award, Asia Pacific region.
  • Finalist, Singapore Challenge, Global Young Scientist Summit (GYSS’14).
  • Interactive installation, iSwarm, selected for i Light Singapore 2014 Light show
  • References

    Suranga Nanayakkara Wikipedia

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