Singapore’s Smart Nation Initiative

When it comes to technology, there are very few countries that embrace it more than Singapore. The island city state is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, which is also explained by its infrastructure. And for a country with so much potential, it is only right that its government look to further develop on its capabilities and become a world-beater. Now, with today’s obsession on everything smart, including phones, TVs, watches and many more, what would you expect Singapore’s next target to be? If you’ve had the unusually wild imagination of guessing Smart Nation, you were right!


In order to stay true to its promise of tirelessly working towards making life easier and more enjoyable for its citizens, the Singaporean Government have decided to move forward with its plan to become the world’s first Smart Nation. Some of the first steps towards fully utilizing technology in order to make life easier for its citizens (who they claim are at the heart of their Smart Nation vision, and not technology), have already been taken:

  • Mobile Applications have been created to enable data-driven conclusions with regards to public demand, such as Beeline – which creates new transport routes as per public needs. Other apps include MyTransport, OneService, iHealth SG and more.
  • Hackathons are governmentally organized events which not only challenge, but actually push technologists to reach further heights by coming with new ideas and developing them, as solutions to real life challenges and issues.
  • Further access to data for its citizens is one of the best things a forward-thinking government can do, and that is exactly what they are doing as part of the Smart Nation project. The Smart Nation Platform requires the participations of all Singaporeans, including agencies, citizens, and foreigners to work together.
  • Smart homes, smart environment is what they call the initiative of developing power management and independent elderly living, which are two of the more important issues Singapore currently faces.
  • Buses are also being tested, as sensors that determine crowdedness provide data which is used to plan journeys, and alternatives if needed.
  • Always online is another phase of the project, whose primary target is to make sure each and everyone in the island city state is always connected to the internet, especially when outside of home. Public connections are being provided, with a far greater focus being placed on crowded places. The objective is to provide strong enough WiFi for Singaporeans anywhere they are, regardless of high usage.

Singapore’s first Robo Coach was unveiled last week aiming to use Robots to coach elderly in their daily exercise routine. The robot demonstrates the routine and also has the capability to coach elderly to exercise with the correct posture. This is accomplished through the sensitive built-in sensor for the Robo Coach.

Through such ambitious initiatives, Singaporeans have already gained a reputation for themselves as standard setters. As opposed to most people who tend to let others experiment –and count their losses, if unsuccessful- Singapore are seemingly not scared of failure, but rather find great joy in exploring creative (and wild) ideas. Actually, come a few years and you will see many globally known companies coming over and reserving Conference Halls or Meeting Rooms rental in Singapore, thanks to all the benefits a Smart Nation might provide.

Basically, the fact that the Singaporean government is willing to invest so much in the Smart Nation platform, as well as provide access to so much data for its citizens, only goes to shows how its primary concerns are with fulfilling its citizens wishes and making life much better for them. Although it is still very early, the first experiments have already begun and most of us will be looking forward with great excitement, as new ideas and initiatives start to roll in during the next couple of months. And I don’t even want to think of how (great) life will be in a few years!

Apple’s Announcement

So what’s the latest news in media technology? Why, the Apple announcements on the 9th of March, of course! There’s a couple of interesting stuff that went on that day, which I’ll share here.

Firstly, there’s a brand new MacBook! Strangely, it doesn’t have any special names, like MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro. This one is just called…’MacBook’. They plan to re-revolutionize their MacBook line, it seems: by going back to the basics, they will improve the basic model, and who knows? They may expose even more enhancements in the future. Currently, what is known is that the new MacBook has been redesigned, and now it only weighs 2 pounds and is 13.1mm thin! Talk about lightweight.

There’s also a 12-inch retina display, with a resolution of 2304×1440 to ensure that everything looks as great as it possibly can. Oh, and did I mention the new colors? It now comes in three colors: Space Gray, Silver, and finally, Gold. Oh, and before I forget, the pricing and specs. MacBook comes with a 1.1 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.4 GHz, 8GB of memory, 256GB of flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 5300 starting at $1,299 (US); and with a 1.2 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.6GHz, 8GB of memory, 512GB of flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 5300 starting at $1,599 (US).


Next up is Apple’s foray into the accessories department – the Apple Watch. That’s right, Apple is bringing its own brand of smart watches into the world, aptly named Apple Watch. So what’s so different about this one? For starters, it keeps time within 50 milisecond from UTC, also known as the universal time standard. You can also read messages, read emails and answer calls to your iPhone using it. Not just that, it can also measure calories burned, brisk activity, even how often you’ve stood up to take a break from sitting. Not only that, it comes with its own apps as well (it ain’t called a smart watch for no reason now). Uber, flight ticket reservations, Instagram, Shazam, Twitter, WeChat and more are coming to the Apple Watch. It comes in three different models: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition. You may have already heard about it, but everyone is talking about the Apple Watch Edition, and for a good reason : its cases are specially crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys developed to be twice as hard as standard gold, it has a Retina display protected by polished sapphire crystal and a choice of uniquely designed straps and bands with 18-karat gold clasps, buckles or pins. Gold! Now that’s premium.




Of course, when it comes to premium, you have to pay the price for it. The Apple Watch Edition costs a whopping $10,000 US dollars. 10k! Imagine how many anonymous HIV testing you can do with that. On second thought, don’t imagine that.

The Internet was roaring when the price tag of this gold Apple Watch was announced. Some compared the price tag to high-end watches with more intricate design than Apple. And the usual opinion of over pricing Apple product ensues. Here is a good review of the watch.


Best ways to reach potential clients online

So, for one reason or another, you found yourself with a business that primarily sells online? Or maybe you just want to expand your business through online sales as well? Well, it is undoubtedly the right choice, I can assure you. Everyone and their friend are currently switching to the online world. Whether it is buying clothes, food, socializing, and even professional work, the online world is definitely getting an increasing amount of attention.

Modern businesses that are getting the hang of online marketing have actually been getting an advantage over competitors, especially ones that have underestimated the effects of online marketing. In fact, even with less demanded products and/or services, a professional online experience will be more attractive for the potential clients, especially thanks to the attachment they get with the company by visiting their website and being much more reachable – mainly due to spending an increasing amount of time on the internet, as is the case for most people nowadays.


The best thing about online marketing especially through an effective website design is that it will work to get you new clients and new leads day and night, whether you are working, sleeping, or having a good time.

To begin with, you must begin by building a degree of trust with your visitors. You don’t just expect people to believe in the quality of your product or the effect of your advice. You need to keep your website up to date with very qualitative and credible information, often in the form of news or blogs. You must also ensure an easy way for the clients to hire you or buy products from you – that is something a UI/UX designer will do for you, but you must have an idea of how you actually want that to look like, depending on the nature of your target market.

Be active and keep a relationship with your visitors. The more you join into conversations and reply to comments, the more trust and relations you will build. Also remember to keep talking about your website to at least 3 people a day. You don’t just want to stay behind the computer and pray for things to happen – they won’t. Oh and, if you want to attract new visitors, use your creativity and offer something for free. Like a trivia or a game, or just something for recommendations. Offer something that will attract people and, even more so, attract them to recommend your website to others.

Be very concise with what you are offering, as people do not react well to long and boring texts or videos. You need to be able to keep their attention high while giving them everything you want them to know. And finally, did I mention the importance of offering solutions for frequent issues people post about? Focus on such issues that are within your industry, and write about it – why not, you can even join such debates over outside forums and thus market your website out.

Basically, if you are serious about your website, whatever industry it is in, you must be very active and partake in discussions by offering advice and help – especially with regards to the frequent issues people face every day. Remember, things are not just magically going to happen. You need to make them happen!

8 blogging tools old and new to consider

Some say Facebook kills the art of blogging because it is easier to write a blog- mail length Facebook status than to blog. The other side of the coin is Facebook jazzes up blogging as it makes it easier to build audience.

Here are some blogging tools you might want to consider:


WordPress has two options:, a free version with easy setup procedures but with limited expansion and limited control features; and, a free software which requires installation on WebHost with own Domain, where payment is required but the user acquires all features and total control over their websites.


According to Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg, WordPress powers 18.9% of the web and has been downloaded more than 45 million times. It is undoubtedly the best choice for companies and brands who want to develop a sophisticated e-commerce site about their products or news blogs on Singapore renovation loans. However, for personal bloggers looking for a platform to share their daily rants, the vast array of options can be quite complicated.




All that is required for Blogger is a Gmail account. It can be customized with new backgrounds and layouts easily. However, it is getting a little outdated recently as its design emphasize on AdSense instead of the readers.


Tumblr is what you get when you cook Facebook, Twitter and Blogger in the same pot. Founded by David Karp and acquired by Yahoo, it supports custom domains, mobile blogging, has a “reblogging” feature, easy to set up and even easier to use, and responsible for making memes go viral on the Internet. However, it is more of a social network. It may serve well as a secondary blog must not as the alpha.


Medium allows its users to edit and annotate other people’s works. Founded by Twitter founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone, all that is needed to blog on Medium is a Twitter profile. It is an ideal platform for bloggers who want their opinions heard as Twitter’s hyper active users make it possible for articles to go viral. However, users are not allowed to have custom domain on Medium.


Svbtle is subtle. It has a doodle-pad like user interface. However, it does not have a commenting system, making it difficult to gauge readers’ response, nor does it make it possible to arrange articles according to categories.



Quora is an excellent place to showcase writing and knowledge. With the amount of Quora users and the reblogging feature for Quora answers, it makes viral engagement viable. However, it lacks personalization and monetization is not possible. is what happens when the note-taking app, Evernote, goes public. Hooking into comment engine Disqus and allowing for custom domains and social sharing, it is easy to use but the customization is limited. From the makers of Evernote, the popular note-taking app, its a kind of hybrid setup of Evernote and a sharing platform. It doesn’t Lovely the traditional definition of a blog in all its entirety.



SETT is what you get when Medium and Svbtle get married and give birth to a baby. It allows readers to follow blogs, find similar posts and bloggers and discuss topics from a blog, which sound very impressive for a blogger who focuses on engagement but it is too early to comment as it is still in its early days.


The Alternative View on Technology

The internet is not created merely for the purposes of US online shopping and Singapore wine delivery. Young children with disabilities need an augmented environment to nurture their communal and cognitive involvement and growth and Technology, from low to high-tech, can play a part in stimulating their participation. Sad to say that this is often underused.

Assisted Technology

In the course of the initial three years, children change more quickly than at any other phase of their lives. Assistive technology (AT) tools and strategies make it simpler for young children with disabilities not only to participate in day-to-day activities, but also to do so on their own. Although AT demonstrates appreciable assurance in bolstering up the growing child, families of young children with disabilities and the professionals who provide services to them may not be acquainted with these tools or know how to use them. A national sample of service providers agreed that a consequential number of young children (45 percent) who may need AT are not be given with it at the time being. Although the deliberation of AT for young children with disabilities is mandated by legislation , the reported low rates of utilization strongly put forward that AT devices and services are not being used to their fullest degree.


Technology solutions make it easier for children to move, communicate and use materials to participate. Such AT supports can encompass low-tech items, like pillows and mirrors, as well as high-tech items, such as augmentative communication devices. Caregivers and support personnel need to become more familiar with the range of AT supports and successful strategies to coalesce them in order to ameliorate children’s participation and recreation.


Recognizing AT solutions to support a child’s participation is best done as a team operation. By first scrutinizing the interests, abilities and needs of a child and the specific constituents of the activity where support for participation is indicated, AT solutions can be planned and implemented and the effect can be discerned immediately. A six-step process defined below is one illustration of a structure for AT decision making for young children.

assistive technology

Step 1

Accumulate child and family particulars. Start the discourse about the child’s strengths, abilities, preferences and needs. Which approach have been found to work best?


Step 2

Pinpoint activities for participation. Explore the various activities within the environments that a child confronts throughout the day. What is averting the child from participating more?


Step 3

What can be discovered that stipulates the intervention is victorious? What is the child’s current level of participation and what observable conducts will reflect a growth in independent interactions?


Step 4

Brainstorm AT solutions. With the activity and desired upshots entrenched, start discussing feasible solutions with educators, family members, physical therapist, and other people with whom the child interacts on a regular basis. Begin with what is accessible in the environment (what other children use) and consider modifications to those materials. A range of alternatives that address particular support areas should be considered.


Step 5

Try it out. Direct when the AT intervention will begin and build an observation plan to write down how the child participates with the AT supports.


Step 6

Identify what worked. Choosing AT interventions is a continuous learning opportunity. Reflect on your plan and discuss what worked and what did not. If necessary, make modifications as needed and try again. Only by trying the AT can certain factors such as technology placement, amount of force, mounting and number of choices be determined and calibrated.



Moms Like to Talk; So Let Them!

It does not matter whether if you are marketing laptop, luxury car, vacation package or baby hamper – you have to speak to mothers as research shows that they are in charge of 85% of household purchases. Mothers are responsible for $7 trillion in consumer spending and Marketing Sherpa reports that the buying power of moms is over $2.1 trillion annually.


Moms are also extremely social. Ad agency Brunner’s research revealed that 96% of moms with children under the age of 12 check their email accounts at least once a day and more than 60% of moms are Facebook users.

With so many IT savvy moms, marketers cannot depend on one-way messages to boost purchase intent. They need to engage with potential buyers by acquiring their information to understand what they’re interested in. This can be done via Site registration form, Facebook plug-in and OpenID Plug-in.

To encapsulate the user data of people who are not on the marketers’ site, they can run a mix of search and sign-up campaigns to point a user to their landing page. These can be engagement path, banners or social ads.

Once the right women sign up to share their information with the marketer, the marketer shall maximize the marketing opportunity with the following steps:

  • Timely follow up: Follow-up in real-time once a potential customer sign up to keep her engaged.
  • Exclusive offers: Show appreciation of their information sharing with discounts or offers that can not be obtained elsewhere.
  • Track: Segment lists based on where the information was collected to juxtapose the outcome and ROI of one medium against the other.

For marketers who are using social media such as blogs and Facebook, here are a few tips to keep the customers engaged:

  • Be personal: Share real-life stories, ideas, and experiences. Have a story about a California baby being rescued? An explicit interview with Tiger Mom on her opinion about her adorable but rebellious young daughter? Share it.
  • Show personality. Is your brand classy, friendly, sophisticated? Whatever that is unique and makes your brand shine – if you have it, flaunt it.
  • Relevance: Do not share impertinent information on your blog or Facebook page.
  • Be real: Do not post spam your target audience with generic, repetitive information.
  • Be engaged: Reply accordingly to comments and messages. If your customer message you, even if it is a criticism or merely an enquiry, make sure that you take the effort to read it and directly reply to it.
  • Be creative: Be entertaining, informative, relevant and unique.

Moms like to talk so let them2

Marketers should also take into account the time of marketing. During one of their studies, producers at Viacom discovered that marketing conducted between 10pm – 12am for moms is most effective due to the fact that any time earlier than that, moms are tied down with school schedule, work and extra co-curricular activities to tend to marketing campaigns. Companies like Gilt, Sacks and QVC also noted that sales are higher in evening hours and offers sent out in the evening are more likely to generate results.

Food Tech Startup

If we do not take good care of our own body, then what is the point, right? With the remarkable advancement of technology touching on multiple industries, it is inevitable for the food industry to see technology touch in as well – which is good news considering the love we, humans, have for food.

Think about it, out of the three elementary needs for life, food is the only one that allows for processing and development – water and oxygen are free and have very little space for development. Food, on the other hand, can be increased in nutritional value, taste, and much more.

nutritious food

Additionally, there is an increasing awareness for eating healthy and keeping the wellness of human body among populations throughout the globe. People no longer want to eat the fattening and unhealthy fast food – instead, they are researching and taking advice for healthy food online. To adapt to that, we are increasingly seeing new technology that helps us discover, learn how to cook, buy, learn, and even how to pair food. Along with the high demand, such room for improvement has seen many start ups join in, and we will share a few that caught our eyes:

Dinner Lab

Having initially started as a get-together for friends and people to try the cooking of new and aspiring chefs, especially during the late hours after clubbing, the Dinner Lab has now grown and can be found in 10 different cities. What they do is pop-up dinners at unusual places, sometimes with as little as 24 hours notice, that will notify registered users to come try a full package meal by an aspiring chef, including unlimited drinks.


Going by the name of “to live” in French, Clubvivre is an online platform that brings catering to another level by allowing people to hire chefs from nearby locations. Whether you have a 2 person dinner or a party with hundreds of people, Clubvivre has plenty of aspiring chefs to take care of your needs. Its mission is primarily based in making chefs the bosses of their own, helping them gain experience and make a name for themselves. You no longer have to worry about finding a good private chef in Singapore, you will definitely have plenty of options to choose from!


As if already being a leader in offering in-store augmented solutions including mapping, Aisle411 recently partnered with Google to provide users with the ability of going through shops and surfing through their in-store shelves. Now, interested clients do not even have to physically go around stores to surf for what they want, they can easily do it from home and then either order it or go buy it in person. Such an service is also going to be a masterpiece for advertising reasons, as marketers will now be able to analyze the interests and demand, helping them bring the right products as well as use the perfect advertising strategy to get to these clients. Finally, although this service can be used by mostly any industry, it also includes the food industry and people can now even look upon restaurants and other food locations in order to decide for where they want to go.

Urban Remedy

By strictly using organic food and juices, Urban Remedy intends to grab a healthy share of the US market by focusing on online sales for the most part. Certified-organic, vegan, raw and ready-to-eat meals, snacks and premium juices are what they promise to bring to your doorstop in record timing, and it sounds impressive.


Having seen the increasing attention people are putting on the healthiness of food they are eating, NatureBox came in with an impressive $10.5 million investment to bring something new and remarkable to the picky clients. Through faster delivery and cheaper products, NatureBox has already seen impressive success in its first year of operation, launching 60 products and shipping over 50,000 boxes already. They are already considered as the disturbers of an otherwise solid snack industry.

And the list definitely goes on without end. Today’s market promises a lot, and people intend to grab a share of their own. Strong determination and creativity have become the norm, ensuring a healthy competition between companies to grab as much market share as possible – consequently, end users are the ultimate winner, as they get the products they demand, and they get it at a cheaper price!

As things stand, be ready to see some impressive products and services very soon!

Latest Social Communication Technology

Last week, some very unusual circumstances made me realize something I had been absolutely blindfolded from seeing for a while now – our dependency on technology.

Out of nowhere, I found myself needing something urgent, which only my friend, Eric, could answer. I took my phone and quickly sent him a message on Whatsapp. I was waiting for a few minutes for him to get online, before I switched to Google Hangouts and messaged him there as well, hoping he might at least receive the alert on his laptop. A few more seconds passed and my friend Paul, who was with me at the time, asked if we can hurry up and get going because we were pretty late for where we were headed to. However, I desperately needed an answer from Eric before I left home, and started stressing out a little bit. Just then, Paul turns to me and says, “why don’t you just call him, man?” and I suddenly got stuck; he was right, and that particular moment made me realize how dependent we have become on chat apps, that we have already started to forget the most simple and practical communication tool – calling. I turned it into a joke and replied, “Oh! I totally forgot I had that app!” and that wasn’t far from the truth.

Can you imagine how much our lives have changed with the introduction of such chat apps? Not too long ago, sending an SMS cost our pocket considerably, and we had to be pretty cautious when sending an SMS. Nowadays, multiple chat apps, each with its own unique characteristics, allow us to communicate with our friends for hours at no extra cost.

smartphone usage

To add to the above, many of my friends prefer different types of chat apps. Needless to say, I try to adapt to different kinds of people, therefore I have several chat apps in my phone. Although it depends on which part of the world you find yourself in, WeChat and WhatsApp have been strongly dominating this market with hundreds of millions of active users in daily basis. Either way, let’s go through the top 5 chat apps:

Snapchat – Going with the most unusual of all, Snapchat is a very creative communication app that primarily focuses on “snapping the moment”. It only allows pictures taken there and then to be sent to your friends. The app is now used to take pictures and/or videos of yourself, write limited text in them, and send it to your friends as a communication tool. It has brought a new and exciting communication experience for everyone.

Facebook Messenger – Although it is primarily linked to Facebook, this app has been made obligatory in order to be able to chat with your Facebook friends through your phone or tablet. We all know how many people have Facebook, and with this app being obligatory, there are over 500k people using it throughout the globe.

Line – Although not the most popular app in the world, it deserves its spot due to its effect on the Japanese part of the world. Line offers everything a typical app does, with text messaging, voice messaging, voice calls, images sending, and the many emojis and stickers making it fun for the users.

WeChat – With the super-powerful Chinese market increasing in daily basis, WeChat has been able to surpass most other apps and get close to Whatsapp numbers just recently. Although it offers much the same as most other apps, including Line, it is much more popular due to coming out of the country with the biggest mobile market in the world.

Whatsapp – The last but most popular one, Whatsapp has not only become the standard throughout the globe, but it has also set the standard. With up to 500 million active users, Whatsapp has been dominating this market for a while now, despite not offering voice calling.

In addition to the 5 apps mentioned above, there are many more that are used by millions of people. With the likes of Kik, Tango, and Viber being available and very popular as well, especially in particular parts of the world, the options are far from limited for any potential user.