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Jurong Lake District to serve as Smart Nation Platform test bed

Some of the key technologies that will make up the Smart Nation Platform (SNP) will be tested at the Jurong Lake District.

SINGAPORE: Some of the key technologies that will make up the Smart Nation Platform (SNP) will be tested at the Jurong Lake District.

When fully rolled out, the technologies are expected to make life better and more efficient for people living in and moving around Singapore.

One way this will be carried out is through the use of sensors installed around the island to collect data on the behaviour and preferences of people. Authorities can then use the data to facilitate planning and enhance urban mobility.

For example, video sensors at taxi stands can help to monitor the length of taxi queues. This real-time information can then be provided to commuters to help them make better travel decisions, and also to alert taxi companies as to where there is the highest demand for cabs.

Sensors could also be used to monitor the amount of rubbish in bins, or detect littering, so that cleaning schedules can be fine-tuned to be more efficient.

Such monitoring systems are among 15 technologies being tested as part of a pilot programme at the Jurong Lake District. More than 1,000 sensors will be deployed as part of the programme.

To facilitate data collection from these sensors, above-ground (AG) boxes could be installed islandwide. There are already three AG boxes implemented as part of the pilot programme, with further plans to roll out some 100 more across the island.

AG boxes will allow “people to either take a piece of wire from their sensor -- it can be a smell sensor, sound sensor, air sensor, or CCTV -- and connect it to the box, which will feed it with both connectivity and power,” said Khoong Hock Yun, assistant chief executive of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).

“It provides various potential services, like light control systems, traffic monitoring, environment sensors, pedestrian crossing, speeding monitors, traffic light controls, monitoring how crowded a junction is, through such a box."

These AG boxes will also boost street-level Internet connectivity by supplying points for fibre access and power.

As more data is collected under the Smart Nation Platform, some firms are already testing applications that can tap on such information to benefit citizens. These include apps that can help users, particularly those with mobility constraints, to find travel routes that cater to their specific needs.

“We are developing the app, but the data set is, at the moment, still in a gathering phase,” said Tan Teck Guan, vice president of land information systems at ST Electronics.

“The engine that we have is to make use of all this data to determine the best route for the people to use. The idea is to organise the data, manage the data, and provide it in a useful manner so that people can find it beneficial to themselves."

IDA and partner agencies are working with more than 20 industry players to test such technology from the third quarter of 2014. 

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