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!

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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!

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