This week, a very popular topic is the city-state of Singapore, the place with a vision to become a Smart Nation. Singapore is the top Asian country in connectivity and digital transformation using information and communications technology according to Huawei's Global Connectivity Index 2016 (GCI2016). Being a place that has one of the highest population densities in the world, it has taken advantage of the ever-changing technologies that are constantly being introduced to the world.
As a country that is working with constraints in resources and other areas, it continues to innovate despite its restrictions. Singapore, placing just behind the United States in the global ranking, has a GCI score of 72, in the list (frontrunners) of developed economies that now use big data analytics and IoT for more extensive economic digitization.
This week, Visa opened its Singapore innovation centre that will allow the firm to work with clients, partners and developers to invent and bring to life new payment and commerce solutions; As the first of its kind in Asia, the Singaporean centre will operate as the commercial gateway for people across the globe.
"Through this eco-system, we believe Singapore can be the lighthouse for the commercialization of new solutions before they are scaled globally." Dr Beh Swan Gin, chairman of the Economic Development Board (EDB)
Fitting for its smart city nature, Singapore is set try out driverless pods for public transit later this year. A partnership with 2getthere and SMRT Services, the 24-person electric-powered pods will run along magnetic-based navigation systems. These pods can drive through all weather while moving up to 8,000 passengers an hour in any single direction.
Image Credit: Architectural Digest
Another plan that Singapore has is to create a realistic 3D virtual model that looks like SimCity. "Virtual Singapore” is conducted by a partnership between the National Research Foundation (NRF), Dassault Systèmes, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA). As a project to support Singapore becoming a "smart nation", this project will provide data to many groups to see how the city will develop over time, as a result of different factors like population growth, infrastructure changes and other events.
Singapore is a city that will benefit incredibly with this project. Virtual Singapore is a completely virtual environment, so it will allow for testing and gathering data without the constraint of physical land. Virtual Singapore provides an opportunity to inspire young people through projects such as the National Science Experiment (NSE). This virtual city will be a project that will assist in building the Smart Nation that Singapore is striving to become.