• About the project

    Do you know?

    In most of the local children's home, the children that they educating are juvenile delinquents or those out of parents' control. The behaviour management system, at this point, is significant to them. However the current behaviour management system is human-based monitoring which is easy to spoil the relationship between the staffs and children.

    Why Smartphones?

    From our research, we found out that Singapore holds the highest adoption rate of smartphones in Asia, and that coupled with the high rate of smartphone change means that smartphones are being discarded, traded-in, recycled and left at home all before the end of their lifetime. Among all the e-waste, smartphone is the item that people are least willing to donate for recycling. Statistics tell us that some old smartphones are being kept at home without usage for future use. The low returns when you recycle or sell back your old smartphones also gives low incentive for people to do so. The smartphones are not being used to the maximum and these phenomena contributes to the burgeoning problem of e-­waste.


    What we do?

    Instead of human step-in monitoring system, we collect spare smartphones and turn them into webcams for the children's home. That way the caretakers can free up more time to actually care for the children instead of always being an authoritative figure. We are currently collaborating with the Salvation Army to have our trial section.

    What can you do?

    We are looking for any potential donors and collaborators. If you are willing to help the children or having any suggestions on our project, please kindly drop a message to us at the bottom of this website.

  • What we have done so far

    Time Line

    First Group Meeting


    We were excited to meet our mentor for the first time – Ms. Leow Choon Lian. Initial icebreaking was done by introducing ourselves to each other and discussing about the various aspects of her choosing our projects – why did she choose ours out of so many different projects? It turns out she was interested in the challenges of finding out user needs in our project.
    After that, we discussed about the various planning that goes into a project such as scoping, stakeholder analysis and management tools. We had found a wealth of knowledge as we never knew that so much work was involved in planning! We also discussed the September deliverables and what do they exactly mean and formulated a plan for our next meeting. By the next meeting, we would be able to master Trello as a project management tool and would have formulated a stakeholder’s map.

    Second Group Meeting


    In our second meeting, our mentor went through the “Double Diamond” design innovation (design thinking) concept with us again (we learnt in once in a Design Odyssey workshop) and we agreed that we are currently in the discovery phase. After that, we analyzed the stakeholder matrix together and discussed about the various interests of different parties and how we can be blocked by different parties as well as added some extra stakeholders. After that, we transferred the stakeholder matrix into a stakeholder diagram detailing power vs. interest.

    Along the way, we discovered that the stakeholder diagram can have a negative impact bar which made us realize that we should start from a stakeholder with high positive impact and high positive influence; to start from the negative impact side means we have to do more work to win the stakeholder’s confidence. After discussion, we have identified this stakeholder to be charity agencies and our next target to find out more information from them in order to find out whether there are established user needs.

    At the same time, we would also need to perform a survey to validate our hypothesis, namely is there really a lot of spare smartphones left at home? We also talked about the framing of the design opportunity (opportunity statement) and realize that it could be framed better. By the next meeting, we would be able to validate our hypothesis and woulld have contacted the NGOs in discovering user needs.

    Design Survey


    After our second meeting, we have decided to come out a survey to check the hypothesis of our project. After comparing different existing online survey platforms, we chose Googleform as our survey platform since it provides powerful logic-jump function and clean user interface. Through the survey, our purpose is:

    • To understand our donor profile and whether we have a big enough supply base
    • To understand-how people often change smartphones
    • To understand their behaviour when they change smartphones
    • To understand why people do not want to donate smartphones to charity
    • To understand the donor's willingness to give away smartphones to charity
    • To understand donor's concern

    Through the survey, we want to validate the following assumptions:

    • We have reasonable proportion of people who possess 2 or more smartphones.
    • People who have 2 or more smartphones are more likely to donate their smartphones to charity over people having 1 smartphone.
    • People who donate smartphones are concerned with loss of security, privacy and monetary loss for not able to sell the smartphones.
    Thanks to the help from our mentor Ms Leow Choon Lian, we learnt how to design the survey questions without any ambiguity or subjectivity.

    Below is the link of our survey, we wish you can kindly spend 2 minutes to answer the question and help our project, thank you!


    12th September deliverables


    In the surveys that we have given out in the holidays, we managed to gather 145 responses (already boosted once when we posted it in Facebook’s SUTD group chat). From the responses, we managed to validate some of our assumptions – namely that there are a lot of people willing to donate their smartphones and that most people aren’t aware of any smartphone recycling program available. We also discovered that most people changed their smartphone in 2 to 3 years’ time which is not until the end of a smartphone’s lifespan. We used the information to reframe our design opportunity, which became “How might we work with NGO or NEA to collect used smartphones thus improving the efficiency of their project?”
    We handed in the 12th September deliverables and the 14th September team dynamics assignment as well.

    3rd Meeting – Ice Breaking Round 2


    In this meeting, we aim to bring the new members up to speed to our project so far. We updated the new members to our project and asked them to give some inputs. We seemed to be confused about the project direction as some thought that it should be profitable while some didn’t like the idea of being the middleman between donators and NGO. After discussion, we decided to take the original idea of making the phone traceable and integrate it to the NGOs’ operation while we sought out original ideas.
    We also managed to draft the e-mails to NGOs and send it out.

    4th Meeting – Ice Breaking Round 3


    In our 4th meeting, we let all our members meet the mentor, Choon Lian. We started the meeting by introducing the new members to the mentor. Choon Lian asked them the reason for them to choose our projects. Cherry said she was interested in the business aspect of it, while Lek Ee liked the social aspect of the project.
    After informing Choon Lian of our doubts in the project’s objectives, we managed to get some clarification from her and sent an e-mail to the Design Odyssey team on the questions she didn’t know the answers to. We also updated Choon Lian on the Design Odyssey bootcamp, our September deliverables and what have we done so far. Using the results of the survey, Choon Lian listed out the findings that were important and stated that we have to base our design opportunity on this. The few opportunities that we found were to increase awareness, extend the life of smartphones by reusing it, increase the convenience of donating smartphones as well as find a way to address the security concern of donators.
    We did a vote on the four opportunities as a starting point above and we will start from increasing awareness. The design opportunity associated with this is “How might we increase awareness of the people to donate smartphones”. Due to the small amount of people who did the survey, we decided to re-post the survey and gather more information. At the same time, we would also contact local NGOs in Singapore to see whether they have a user need for smartphones. This information will then be used to contact NEA and we will form partnership with them.
    We also discussed about the October 18 deliverables which would be a proof of concept of our idea and a few iterations of the prototype. Choon Lian suggested that we approach our classmate and the people who answered our survey and leave their e-mail contacts for feedbacks. Right now, the prototype idea still remains the web app that connects the donators to the individual recipients. However, we may add in additional features such as data deletion for security and interactive e-waste bins to encourage donation.
    By the next meeting, we will have already found some local NGOs with the need of smartphones, extended our survey to more people so that we have enough information to contact NEA.

    5th Meeting – Prototype discussion


    In this meeting, we discussed the prototype functions and what features of our prototype to achieve them. Prior to that, we agree that the target audience that we are searching for this time would be underprivileged children from Children homes. This is due to workers having purchasing power and they are less needy. In case our project needs to change the target audience, we can always pivot our prototype in that direction.
    We then listed out the functions that we need to fulfill and list down some ideas. The functions are to increase awareness of donation of smartphones, simplify the process of donating smartphones, making the donation of smartphones secure as well increase the motivations to donate smartphones. The traits of our prototype that we discussed that would fulfill these requirements are (in this order): Giving out homemade gifts from children to entice donators, going door-to-door to get the smartphones, feature the official method to delete data in the phone as well as connecting the donator and recipient safely.
    After putting the framework down for our prototype we then proceed to fill up the skeleton of the prototype and discuss about the details. We think the prototype will be a pilot test that last a month using the phones we collect from some donators. We will target those who have done our survey and note their interest to ask for donations. We will ask the donators and recipients to communicate for a month using our web app. We will use our budget to ask the children to make gifts as well as to buy Strikingly Pro to host our web app.
    By the next meeting, we would have contacted the orphanages and are ready to approach NEA.

  • the Team

    Liu Yuchen

    SUTD '16 Freshmore

    The thought of so many smartphones lying around in the house bugged me - when it is not being used, it is being wasted! In doing the e-waste project, we are not merely creating a solution, we're making problems to solve each other!

    Woong Wen Tat

    SUTD '16 Freshmore

    Since young, I have been enthralled by the Tiger Team's toolbox (you can Google that up) where everyday items are converted into useful gadgets. My vision is to make trash into treasure and waste into gold

    Kee Lek Ee

    SUTD '15 Sophmore

    Cherry Chen

    SUTD '15 Sophmore

    Jingyun Lim

    SUTD '16 Freshmore

    I envision a future where we can lead a truly sustainable and zero-waste lifestyle. Meanwhile, when I have time to spare i find cute soft toys to pet.

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