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A glimpse of the future at Jurong Lake District

HIGH-TECH PLAYGROUND: The Jurong Lake District will become a testbed for how Singapore uses technology to ease the flow and movement of its people.


    Jun 18, 2014

    A glimpse of the future at Jurong Lake District

    LITTERBUGS busted from afar. Rubbish bins analysed from a distance. Even traffic lights adjusted to smoothen travel on the roads.

    The future is smart and you will soon get a glimpse of it in Singapore's west, as Jurong Lake District becomes a testbed for how the Republic uses technology to ease the flow and movement of its people. A smart nation, in other words.

    The 360ha area - the size of Marina Bay - will be turned into a high-tech "playground" where tech-savvy denizens can even find driverless vehicles plying the roads

    They are linked and controlled by more than 1,000 sensors.

    You can better predict where and when to take a cab, avoiding long queues, with a system that can monitor the crowd at taxi stands.

    On the roads, traffic lights can also be timed and adjusted to ease the gridlock while pedestrians just need to turn on their smartphones to find out where's the nearest sheltered walkway to avoid the hot sun or rain.

    There will also be more eyes on the street.

    Litterbugs and those who park illegally or light up in prohibited zones can be easily picked up with advanced video-sensing or detection technologies.

    Just how quickly a rubbish bin is filled compared to another can be analysed and used to allocate where cleaners should be deployed first.

    These are among the 15 trials that will be conducted in the third quarter of this year which are aimed at improving urban mobility, and improving sensing and situational awareness

    Led by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), the tests are being carried out by the public and private sectors.

    "Insights gained from this data would enable us to better anticipate citizens' needs and help in better delivery of services," said Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim at the opening ceremony of imbX 2014 yesterday.

    "We believe that a smart nation can become a reality if we successfully combine policy, people and technology in a concerted fashion," said Dr Yaacob.

    Beyond Jurong, smart solutions are being explored in homes as well, like a system that enables everyday objects such as the shirt on your back, cutlery and beds to "talk" to one another.

    Dubbed the Internet of Things, the high-tech system can better help the growing number of elderly here.

    For instance, the cutlery a person eats from and a wristband that he is wearing could detect if he is not eating well and has low blood pressure, and hence, prompt him to see a doctor.

    These efforts, said IDA assistant chief executive Khoong Hock Yun, will allow Singapore to be the "leading lighthouse for what a smart nation can be".