Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister of Communications and Information, Singapore, announced today that Jurong Lake District (JLD) will spearhead Singapore into being a Smart Nation. As a part of a Smart Nation drive, innovation and creation of new applications and services — like smart queue monitoring, smart mobile navigation guides and autonomous buggies will be installed and experimented at JLD, making the district a “living lab”.

The Minister was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Infocomm Media Business Exchange 2014, here. “We believe that a Smart Nation can become a reality if we successfully combine policy, people and technology in a concerted fashion. A key component in our Smart Nation vision is the Smart Nation Platform or SNP. As part of the SNP, we will further our capabilities in pervasive connectivity, by building new infrastructure and common technical architecture to support an innovative ecosystem across Singapore,” he said.

Besides enhancing the existing connectivity in Singapore using technologies deployed in HetNet, SNP will aim to bring together the nationwide sensor network and data analytics abilities, to empower individuals, government and businesses.

Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) will make JLD as a “live test-bed/living lab”, where connectivity infrastructure, such as Above Ground (AG) Boxes and over 1,000 sensors will be deployed. The pilot will focus on three main areas – urban mobility, sustainability, and improving sensing and situational awareness.

Smart traffic, smart pedestrian movement
With use of technology IDA hopes to enhance vehicular fleet management,  monitor queues at taxi stands (allowing commuters to make informed travel choices), enable smart walking and navigation for senior citizens, parents with children in prams, differently-abled people and cyclists; optimise traffic-light signalling to cut down congestion and waiting time for pedestrians.

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IDA, along with partner agencies will be working with 20 companies and startups (selected through an Open-Call-for-Collaboration) to deploy and try “innovative technology” from Q3 2014.

Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman, IDA said, “We have made great headway in just over a year from conceptualisation to real action in building Singapore as the world’s first Smart Nation… We welcome great ideas and input from across all communities and industries as we work to build Singapore into a Smart Nation,” he said.

SNP will anchor around three key areas of ‘Connect’, ‘Collect’, and ‘Comprehend’. The first phase of the SNP which focusses on ‘Connect’ and ‘Collect’ is expected to be available by 2015.
IDA Lab on Wheels
Meanwhile, IDA also announced that it will be launching an education bus — IDA Lab on Wheels — later this year, which will visit schools and other public places to excite students and public about technology. The bus will travel to schools and conduct fun activities such as coding a game in an hour, tinkering with gadgets, making high technology devices and programming a robot.