Smart Tech for Sustainable Singapore
An energy analytics startup, a video analytics service provider, a robot fitness coach and a consent-based platform that boosts the convenience of e-government transactions.
These were some of the highlights showcased at the World Cities Summit expo held at Marina Bay Sands from July 10 to 13, under the pavilion themed “Towards a Smart and Sustainable Singapore”.
Visitors to the pavilion, which featured innovative solutions from various Government agencies, were also treated to a hands-on preview of Virtual Singapore, the in-development digital 3D map of the country that you can interact with.
The demo allowed visitors to virtually visit the YuHua region in Jurong East, including checking out the cycling and pedestrian networks within the district. It also showed how the building of wheelchair-friendly access could help shorten travelling time for residents using mobility aids.
We bring you other highlights of the pavilion:
Software boost for energy savings
Energy-saving software is a thing.
Software can indeed dramatically reduce the number of hardware sensors needed to measure and achieve more sustainable energy usage.
This was one of the selling points of the Energy Management System (EMS) showcased by IDA-accredited EverComm Uni-Tech Singapore.
An energy analytics startup founded by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) graduates, EverComm uses hardware sensors and software algorithms to measure and analyse parameters such as air flow, water flow and energy consumption to identify opportunities for energy savings.
“Instead of putting in sensors to measure everything, we use simulation and analytics to predict energy usage patterns so we do not need to have so many individual points,” said co-founder and product architect Mr Ted Chen.
(Pop trivia: He landed on the Forbes Asia 30-under-30 list of young entrepreneurs in the Manufacturing and Energy category. )
He cited the example of an EMS implementation on a manufacturing floor which helped to reduce the number of sensors needed for energy management from 1,000 to just 200.
EverComm was accredited in December 2015 under IDA’s Accreditation@IDA programme which provides independent third-party evaluation of the company’s products and ability to deliver. This provides government and enterprise buyers with greater assurance when procuring solutions from young tech companies.
“Accreditation has helped open doors,” said Mr Chen. “We had not worked on government projects before but since accreditation, we are now talking to over 20 government agencies.”
The company is exploring public sector opportunities in data centre energy management, and is also involved in the call for collaboration for Singapore’s Tropical Data Centre initiative.
A unified Video Analytics platform
Another IDA-accredited company that wowed visitors was video analytics provider KAI Square.
The company’s Video Analytics as a Service (VAaaS) is a cloud-based video analytics product that uses computer vision algorithms to translate data gathered from surveillance cameras and other sensors into useful insights.
In the business realm, this helps business owners to better plan their marketing strategies with statistics.
For example, retailers can have a more accurate gauge of the frequency of customers visiting their shops. VAaaS also helps in areas such as public security by detecting potential threats and triggering alerts.
Underpinning VAaaS is the Kai Unified Platform which unifies the three layers of analytics. The first is the unification of devices such as cameras, infra-red detectors and other sensors.
With this, organisations do not have to worry about new devices that they may need to connect to the analytics platform in the future, said Mr Victor Goh, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, KAI Square.
The second layer of unification involves the different types of analytics capabilities that may be required by an organisation.
The Kai Unified Platform allows the organisation to make use of analytics modules from different vendors, whether from KAI Square or a third-party solution provider. KAI Square is also working with research institutes and universities to ensure that new analytics models can be plugged into the platform.
The third layer of unification is the application layer, said Mr Goh. This is where organisations can customise and design analytics applications based on their own use cases and scenarios, using the Kai Unified Platform as their core system.
Like EverComm, accreditation has helped KAI Square to increase its exposure, said Mr Goh.
The company is currently working on three or four government projects and also with systems integrators who are bringing its solutions overseas, he said.
MyInfo for your convenience
Tired of filling in your personal details over and over again when you make use of e-services?
Here’s the good news: The user experience for e-government is set to become more seamless with the progressive rollout of MyInfo since May 2016.
“MyInfo is a consent-based platform for Singapore residents to use their personal data securely in online transactions,” said Mr Kendrick Lee, Deputy Director, Government Digital Services, Product Management, IDA.
With the service, users create their profile and fill in their personal information just once.
When they have to fill in online forms of participating government e-services, they simply click on the ‘Retrieve MyInfo’ button to have the necessary data fields automatically filled in.
Consent will be sought from users before any data is transferred into a form. Users can also choose to be alerted whenever an e-service uses their personal data.
MyInfo is now available across 16 e-services including applications for new flat, Baby Bonus schemes and polytechnic admissions.
By 2018, most SingPass authenticated e-services will be linked to the MyInfo platform.
“It provides convenience when using government services and facilitates seamless transactions for our Smart Nation,” said Mr Lee.
Robocoach works your body
Fancy a fun and friendly fitness coach who never tires?
Enter the Robocoach.
Known as Xian, the Robocoach is a robot trainer that imitates human movements and teaches exercises to senior citizens individually or in groups.
Enhanced with sensors, it offers personalised exercise routines to help senior citizens — and younger folks too — to stay active.
Motion-sensing technology allows the robot to monitor the performance of seniors and ensure that the routines are correctly done.
The RoboCoach was developed by students and staff from Ngee Ann Polytechnic with support from IDA and the Ministry of Social and Family Development.