SINGAPORE: Urban planning consultancy firm Surbana Jurong and Microsoft inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Friday (Nov 25) to develop cloud-based technology for governments and city planners to better monitor common estate facilities like lifts, and in turn better manage their cities.
The agreement is the first such collaboration for Microsoft in the region and also comes after Surbana Jurong launched its Smart Cities in a Box initiative in July, which allows city officials to track city assets like lights, water tanks, buildings and lifts through a series of applications.
Surbana will now have access to Microsoft's cloud computing platform Azure, which both sides said will help save costs, and allow clients to access the Smart Cities in a Box technology from anywhere without software and hardware upgrades. Cloud computing involves storing or managing data on Internet servers instead of a local server or personal computer.
Following the MOU, Surbana said it will also be able to tap on Microsoft's predictive technology to improve its smart city solutions, and in particular lift management. For example, this could mean having sensors in lifts to predict breakdowns before they occur, or using video technology to detect if a person faints, and trigger alerts accordingly.
The firm currently monitors 24,000 lifts in Singapore's public housing estates and has been conducting trials of the technology with town councils since July.
"As our predictive analytics capabilities are refined and enhanced over time, we could see a reduction in the number of lift incidents in the future," said Surbana Jurong Group CEO Wong Heang Fine at the MOU signing.