'Smart nation' sensors here, there and everywhere

'Smart nation' sensors here, there and everywhere

THEY will be on the front line of Singapore's push to be a "smart nation", popping up on roads, in drains or in high places to keep tabs on everything from traffic to water levels and the air.

Up to 1,000 sensors - which can be in the form of computer chips or surveillance cameras - will be deployed across Singapore as the Government officially kicks off its "smart nation" plan.

These sensors will support various government projects, such as one to increase surveillance in Little India and Geylang, and another to better monitor the risk of the Singapore River flooding.

"These are places where agencies have immediate operational requirements and need system rollout as quickly as possible," said Mr Khoong Hock Yun, assistant chief executive of development group at the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA).

He said a tender will be called by the year end for the installation of the sensors, as part of Singapore's Smart Nation Platform. To be completed by the end of next year, this system is expected to lead to substantial savings as the infrastructure will be shared by various agencies.

The sensors will be linked to Aggregation Gateway boxes, typically installed at traffic junctions, parks or bus stops to feed data from, say, surveillance cameras or air quality sensors, to the relevant agencies for analysis.

For a start, the sensors and boxes will be mainly in high-traffic areas including the Civic District and Orchard Road.

The rollout will run alongside similar trials in Jurong Lake District, named in June as the test bed for Singapore's push to be a smart nation.

The 15 trials in Jurong include sensors in parks that adjust lighting based on motion and the time of the day, and high-tech cameras that help wardens issue tickets for illegal parking more swiftly.

IDA said lessons from the trials in Jurong Lake District will be applied to the Smart Nation Platform's rollout next year.

Wider applications being looked at for nationwide deployment include flood and traffic jam prevention, and better patient monitoring in moving ambulances. Free public Wi-Fi services can also be deployed quickly throughout Orchard Road, for instance.

Mr Khoong said a common platform could spur better data sharing and coordination across agencies to meet the public's needs.

Separately, Punggol and Yuhua have been picked to provide the first prototypes of what a "smart home" here would look like.

IDA is looking for ideas from the private sector on possible applications, which could include better security monitoring or Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the home.

Engineer John Wong, 36, said he hopes these high-tech installations will solve his daily transportation woes, among others.

"My idea of a smart nation is citizens being able to board a bus or flag down a cab, peak hour or not. This comes with high-tech prediction capabilities," he said.

itham@sph.com.sg


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