How Singapore Push the Smart Nation Concept Beyond the Limits
Singapore strives to become a Smart Nation to support better living, stronger communities, and create more opportunities, for all, They believe that a smart nation can become a reality if we successfully combine policy, people and technology in a concerted fashion.”
The Singapore Smart Nation initiative is a government push to try and improve the efficiency of Singapore, as a country, using technology. Among other projects, there has been a push to make real-time data openly available so that everyone, from individuals to corporations, can use it creatively to make solutions to day-to-day municipal problems.
With advanced communications, efficient living options and a comprehensive public transport system, Singapore’s strong infrastructure and commitment to innovation make it an ideal home for global industries and R&D
“Smartness” is not a measure of how advanced or complex the technology being adopted is, but how well a society uses technology to solve its problems and address existential challenges.
The key factor of smart nation
- Smart, Supportive and Proactive Government
- The government strives to facilitate innovations by the public and the private sector. It puts in place appropriate policies and legislations to nurture a culture for experimentation encourage innovation and the eventual adoption of new ideas.
- Government provide many grants option to individual and company There’s also the Business Grants Portal, a site that’ll let businesses browse and apply for grants from as many as 10 agencies.
- The government is also aiming to mobilise the community through a series of Smart Nation Tech Challenges to co-create cutting edge solutions for real-world problems. This could lead to the evolution of viable prototypes with global export potential. The first of these challenges will focus on video analytics and how such processed data can be used in the areas of transportation, healthcare, retail and security.
- Many datasets are available on the data.gov.sg website or on the website of various organizations: the National Library Board Dataset, the National Environmental Agency Dataset, the OneMap API, or the LTA Data Mall by the Land Transport Authority. These datasets range from static CSVs updated once a year with a single new row, e.g. the data on Government Headcount:
- Citizens are at the heart of our Smart Nation vision, not technology!
Very important to understand that the Technology implementation needs to focus primarily on the needs of the people the technology is intended to serve, rather than pushing the limits with fancy features.
Ms Jacqueline Poh(She is now the Chief Executive Officer of the new Government Technology Agency, or GovTech) shared her experience
In recent years, there has been a big push in telemedicine to allow the elderly to age in place instead of having to go to the hospital. To meet this need, a large number of providers started introducing a whole range of extremely exotic devices,But when we rolled them out to our test groups in places like Jurong and Punggol, it turned out that what most of our elderly wanted was a device that was just a large, red plastic button that they could push in the event of an emergency. They said, ‘We don’t want your consoles and exotic devices, and we don’t use handphones. Please do not put a wearable on us, we do not want to see cameras or motion sensors in our homes. Give me the big red button!’That is where the reality of smart city development starts to meet the reality of citizens who live in it, she concluded.
- The individual and company actively contributed to the smart nation movement,
With Singapore’s government policies and legislations that nurture a culture for experimentation to encourage innovation and strong infrastructure and commitment to innovation make it an ideal home for developer and their development community will extend beyond enterprises and governments to university students and startup companies. The creativity that results will be a lot more than any individual organisation can actually produce.
- Solid planning on the infrastructure and groundwork to support the smart nation, Singapore has fibre and power points ready islandwide for a quick deployment of sensors, and many Internet of Things sensors has been deployed islandwide as well
Testbed for a smart nation
- Above Ground (AG) Boxes
To drive Singapore’s vision to become a smart nation, the government-led by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA)–will facilitate the rollout of systems where needed. One such project involves Above Ground (AG) Boxes to facilitate the collection of essential data. These serve as all-in-one containers with power and fibre connectivity, and can power data sensors from different government agencies. The boxes reduce the need for unnecessary groundwork, hence, reducing deploying time and cost.
IDA is aiming to install the AG Boxes in common outdoor areas where there is demand for sensor-based technologies, such as bus stops, parks, and traffic junctions.
- Upcoming Jurong Lake District (JLD),
A series of other trials is also in the works to provide a glimpse of how a smart nation will take shape. To be rolled out in the upcoming Jurong Lake District (JLD), these pilots will assess the use of various technologies such as video analytics to more efficiently detect traffic conditions at junctions, autonomous vehicles to ferry passengers along paths for the first or last parts of their journeys. JLD will be the largest commercial and regional centre outside Singapore’s Central Business District, and has been identified to be a mixed-used urban precinct characterised by sustainable development and connectivity.
- Area of implementation
- For a start, they have identified five key domains that will have significant impact on the citizen and society, and in which digital technology can have a needle moving impact: transport, home & environment, business productivity, health and enabled ageing, and finally, public sector services.
- Smart Transport system by LTA Data Mall, by Singapore’s Land Transport Authority. This dataset provides both offline geographical data on roads & public transport, as well as real-time data on things like bus arrivals and taxis. Using this dataset, individual or company able to build a trip planner to find the shortest bus commute from A to B, but powered by real data and bounded by real-world limitations.
With the various pieces lined up for deployment including the SNP, HetNet and AG Boxes, JLD serving as a testbed, and ongoing collaboration with industry partners, Singapore is confident it will achieve its goal to become a smart nation.
According to Dr Yaacob Ibrahim (Minister for Communications and information): “Singapore is firmly committed to collaborating with businesses and the community to realise our vision of a smart nation. More importantly, it will allow cities like ours to learn, adopt, and innovate in a constantly changing environment.”
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